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Majority of Indians interconnected with the world through email, social media: Ipsos poll

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MUMBAI: The majority of Indians are interconnected with the world due to email and social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, according to a new poll by Ipsos.

68 per cent of people across India who are connected online send and receive emails and 60 per cent communicate through social networking sites, and a quarter (25 per cent) of them use voice-over IP (VOIP) for audio conversations conducted via an Internet connection.

Ipsos India Head of marketing and communications Biswarup Banerjee said, "Internet penetration in India has been very good in recent years, however, relative to country like China, India still does lack behind. According to Industry estimates 103.6 million people will go online in 2012, and the number of users is expected to more than double to 221.6 million by 2015. This along with proliferation of internet access through smart phone will further increase the usage of email, social networking sites and other online communication tools".

Incidentally according to another Ipsos survey, around 40 million Indians access the Internet through their smart phones, 56 per cent of smartphone users in the country access the Internet multiple times a day, nearly 40 per cent surf the Net at least once a day and only 6 per cent never use their phone for connecting to the Web.

A strong majority (85 per cent) of online-connected global citizens in 24 countries use the Internet for emails while six in ten (62 per cent) use it for social networking, and little over one in ten (14 per cent) use the Internet for connecting with people through voice-over IP.

Globally Email is King…but social media is close behind: Most (85 per cent) global respondents who are connected online report they use the Internet for sending and receiving emails, including a majority of those in each country surveyed except for Saudi Arabia where only half (46%) say so. Those in Hungary (94 per cent) are most likely to say they use the Internet for emailing, followed by nine in ten of those in Sweden (92 per cent), Belgium (91 per cent), Indonesia (91 per cent), Argentina (90 per cent) and Poland (90 per cent).

Social media popularity is high among global citizens using the Internet. A majority of them (62%) say they visit social networking sites, forums or blogs including eight in ten of those in Indonesia (83 per cent), Argentina (76 per cent) and Russia (75 per cent) and seven in ten of those in South Africa (73 per cent), Sweden (72 per cent), Spain (71 per cent) and Hungary (70 per cent). Even in countries where social media surfing is less popular, a sizable minority of those connected online still report using the Internet in this way: 35 per cent in Japan, 42 per cent in Saudi Arabia and 50 per cent in France.

“Although Facebook and other popular social networking sites, blogs and forums, were founded in the United States the percentage of users was lower at six in 10, and in Japan it fell to 35%, the lowest of the 24 countries in the global survey. The fact that more than six in 10 people worldwide use social networks and forums, suggests a transformation in how people communicate with each other,” said Banerjee.

Although Americans and Japanese are thought to be very tech savvy, voice-over IP (VOIP), audio conversations conducted via an Internet connection, were not very popular in both countries with less than 10 per cent of people using the relatively new technology, compared to 36 per cent in Russia, 32 per cent in Turkey and 25 per cent in India.

Ipsos interviewed a total of 19,216 adults in the month of February in an online survey across 24 countries like Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Britain, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and the US.

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