A majority of language first internet users in India are on social media during their leisure time, according to ShareChat’s ‘Understanding India’s Next Billion Internet Users’ report published with Nielsen India as its ‘Knowledge Partner’.

Nielsen India carried out the primary research for the report to better understand the overall social media usage, consumption and online behaviour of internet users divided into English (India) and native language (Bharat) social media users. Language first internet users are the native language users.

According to the report, 78 per cent of Bharat engages in social media activity such as to watch, upload or create content during their leisure time. 73 per cent of internet users sign into social networking platforms every day, the report said. Users are most active between 7 pm and 11 pm.

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Bharat internet users spend over five hours a week on social media, signing in at least three times a day. As for content, users prefer videos content, spending up to two minutes on every video. 49 per cent of users post content daily. In terms of uploading content, images were the highest uploaded format, closely followed by videos.

“Entertainment and Networking are the major determinants for people to hop on social media platforms,” the report said.

Apart from this, users also spend their time on messaging, banking and payments, delivery, and online shopping on the internet.

As for online shopping, fashion, mobile phones, non-electronic devices, and media emerged as the leading categories of goods and services that users purchased online.

“The intention of this study was to nail down key parameters where user behaviour diverged between India and Bharat,” Satyajit Deb Roy, Director - Sales, ShareChat, said.

“Interestingly, the findings have indicated a paradigm shift in the online consumption behaviour among ‘Bharat’ audiences and highlighted how Bharat internet users have evolved into a mature internet audience, though they prefer to interact in their native language. Moreover, the report has also suggested that the Bharat users have a higher spending propensity, are comfortable shopping online, and are equally well-versed with investment,” Roy said.

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Internet consumption is driven by mobile data. As data plans become cheaper across networks, nine out of 10 users use mobile networks to access internet most of the time, the report said. Reliance Jio was the most preferred mobile network for Bharat.

In terms of mobile devices, “What’s more, most of the regional geographies of the country are brand conscious, with Xiaomi and Samsung turning out to be the brands of choice for the majority,” the report said.

The study was conducted with 3,788 respondents across 81 cities in India, with 40 per cent of the respondents belonging to Tier 2 and 3 cities.