India's Internet Usage Soars 27 Percent

New stats out of India show three things: a sharply growing acceptance of the Internet (27 percent year-to-year increase); embracing of American sites (the top three most popular sites were from Google, Yahoo and Microsoft); and huge growth potential, given that barely 3 percent of its people today use the Internet.

The latest data points, courtesy of a report issued Monday (July 21) by Comscore, have several encouraging points for global e-tailers looking to tap India's 1.1 billion people, which is more than triple the U.S.'s measly 303.8 million people.

Google dominated the top spot with several of its properties, the report said, "including Google Search (up 38 percent to 17.1 million visitors), social networking site Orkut (up 39 percent to 9.3 million visitors), blog platform (up 102 percent to 7.3 million visitors) and video site YouTube (up 131 percent to 6.3 million visitors)."

After Google, Yahoo hit with 18.7 million visitors (a 28 percent increase), followed by Microsoft with 12 million (an 11 percent increase).

"Indian portal ranked as the top local property with 9.2 million visitors (up 19 percent), followed by government site with nearly 6 million visitors (up 5 percent)," the Comscore report said.

Rounding out the top site list after Microsoft and Rediff (numbers four and five on the list) were AOL, NIC.IN, Times Internet Limited, Wikipedia, Naukri, eBay, Indian Railways, CNET, Ask Network, and Monster Worldwide.

Some other interesting numbers from the report:
  • " The average Indian Internet user visited the Internet 25 times during the month and was online for 28 minutes per visit."
  • " Those between the ages of 15 and 24 were the heaviest Internet users among all age segments, spending nearly 12 hours online per month on average."
  • " Some of the fastest growing Web site categories during the past year included Maps (up 64 percent), Sports (up 60 percent), Entertainment — Movies (up 55 percent), and Finance — News/Research (up 52 percent)."