In India, mobile Internet users are increasing year on year. A latest research of the Analysys Mason, a consulting firm stated that the number of mobile social network users was estimated to reach 72 million by 2014. The main possible reasons for the growth of mobile Internet usage were found to be the likely reduced cost of smart-phones and the launch of 3G services enhancing the consumer experience. As per the report, Overview of the mobile social networking in India, as of July 2010, the number of online social network users in India had grown by 43% with India emerging as the 7th largest market globally. The rise in number of social network users was also promoting the rise of number of mobile social network users. It was found from the report that around 2.2% of the total number of mobile subscribers had been accessing social networking sites.
Different data tariff plans and significant reduction in data charges were found to drive the adoption of data-based services such as social networking. Operators and handset manufacturers had started taking several initiatives to address this emerging opportunities. However, they had to expand their addressable base of consumers and focus on service innovation to increase the penetration of social networking in India.
Many of the handset manufacturers have even started to launch mobile handsets specifically designed for social networking in order to increase the value proposition and differentiate their devices. Operators were found to launch services such as pay-per-site tariffs for promoting the social networking applications among the subscribers. Mobile social networking was found to be used mostly by the young people and young professionals accounting for 70% of the total number of users in 2009. With respect to gender, males dominated the usage of mobile social networking.