India Online Behaviour: What does 1 in 4 Minutes on Facebook Mean?

The comScore study on top online destinations in India suggests that Indians spend about 25% time on Facebook. To quote comScore, “………..social networking reigned as the top online activity accounting for 25.2 percent of all online minutes”. In my view, it would be wrong to take the statement literally without understanding the context and our own behaviour on the internet a little more.

As I write this post using a live internet connection directly through the browser interface, there are tabs other open in the same browser, literally from last several hours, which I have not even have had the time to look into. Likewise, for a very large number of netizens, having a Facebook page opened on one tab while they continue to work on another is just a normal behaviour, a matter of satisfaction, a hygiene factor. Let’s say, Jack’s/Juliet’s internet browser has couple of social networking sites opened in two tabs while he or she continues to work in gathering data on horizontal gene transfer in several other tabs. In ten hours maybe Jack/Juliet would have the time to spend about 30 minutes in all staring at social media pages such as Facebook and Twitter but technically he/she has been on Facebook for several hours. Therefore, while the Facebook and Twitter pages have been open from the morning, It does not follow that they spent the entire day on Facebook or Twitter.

Secondly, corporate users in most cases, do not even have worktime access to social media (Capgemini could be an exception. They are trying to even abolish internal email). Therefore, this 1/4 thing appears even more suspect. Also, if someone watches a technical video on YouTube, does not automatically qualify as social networking? You decide.

Third, many corporate users, particularly the technology service industry operate within overseas client networks even if they sit within their own office desks. In such cases, their behaviour forms part of foreign net populace even as they physically sit in India.

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