Since 2010, there has been a steady rise in the use of the Internet. However, a good part of the world’s population does not still have access to the Internet. The majority of the number are in African and Asian countries such as India and China. Surprisingly, India has the highest number of people who do not use the Internet. This is despite having the second largest world’s online market. Studies show that 50% of India’s population does not have Internet access.
Is India the next billion users?
The term ‘Next Billion Users’ is used to portray Internet opportunities in growing markets. For some years now, it has been shifted to India. The country saw considerable growth in the number of Internet users between 2019 and 2020. With over 504 million active internet users, it passed half a billion of the term after five years of inception. Even with the growing figures, India remains the country with the highest untapped internet potentials. This leaves little to no doubt that India is home to the Next Billion Users.
There is a high demand for content in local languages in India. Up to 90% of Internet users prefer local languages. For example, most Indian online casino websites now offer their platform in Indian languages such as Hindi, Telegu, Kannada, and Bengali. They also offer their customer support in these languages. When languages were compared, Hindi was the most used language and still looks promising.
The effects of local languages on the Web
The hike in demand for content in Indian languages was recognized by Google. In return, it threw its weight behind this by approving and producing content made in Indian languages. Many of Google’s services such as Shopping, Check, Assistance, Bolo, Discover, and Lens have versions in Indian languages. Hindi is identified as the second world’s most used language on Google Assistant. It experienced a whopping five-fold increase in 2019 to take the spot.
In May 2019, Google released a report in which it announced the factors determining the growth of Internet usage. It said that the growth of Internet usage will depend on non-metro cities measuring up with the metro ones. According to the study carried out by the search engine giant, this will take place in three ways. The next billion Internet users are predicted to be coming from non-English speaking countries. Concerning this, the Internet has been flooded with a variety of language content platforms over the years.
We also found that a lot of content-driven organizations have adopted options for local languages to remain relevant. Content players like Dailyhunt, ShareChat, UC News, NewsDog and so many others have experienced remarkable growth due to this. The introduction of local languages to the Web has paved the way for more means of advertisement. This has, in turn, helped platforms to expand their customer base and engagements. InMobi, Zomato, Policy a are, Byju and other unicorns currently support a minimum of two and a maximum of twelve regional languages.
The future of local languages on the Web
The latest Google report has it that there will be a surge in the number of Indian online users from its current number to 650 million in one year. This growth will be driven by non-metro cities competing with metro cities in Internet growth and usage. The report adds that the online video audience will likely hit 500 million in a year. It further says that the fast-growing influence of online videos is a positive impact. New and better opportunities for brands and marketers and juicer ROIs are some expected effects of online videos.
There are predictions about the growth of digital consumer spending by over 2.5% in the coming year. It is expected that this year, digital consumer spending will hit $100 billion. Of course, digital media is projected to drive growth in travel, e-commerce, and other key areas of the economy. We foresee the base of online spenders rising at least twice a year to reach about 200m.
The importance of local languages in a huge and diverse country like India cannot be overemphasized. We can see from the statistics above that Google is on the right track. Its decision to encourage and support the use of local languages on the Web is a welcome development. Not only will the content creators and audience thrive better, but there’ll also be rapid growth in the number of Internet users.