Almost half of Indian members of social networks say they use the sites to keep track of ex-boyfriends or ex-girlfriends, according to a study on social media usage by The Nielsen Company. (A similar share of Americans who responded to questions on their Facebook use earlier this year said they looked at their ex’s page too often.) And more than half of them use the sites to find out about a future romantic prospect, said the study conducted by the media usage measurement firm together with market research company AbsoluData Research & Analytics.
India is estimated to have between 80 million and 100 million Internet users. The Nielsen study says 30 million of them are members of social networking sites such as Facebook, Orkut or LinkedIn, and about two-thirds of this group spends time surfing social network sites daily. Although romance is an important part of using social networking sites for Indian users, Nielsen reported that the most widespread use of social networking sites is more mundane: checking for updates and e-mailing. The study found that Indians spend more time on social networking sites than on personal e-mail.
Nearly 40 million Indians are using online reviews to make purchasing decisions and a majority of Indian users of social network sites also appear to be open to brands marketing to them through social media, the study found. Based on current growth and intentions reported in the survey, as many as 45,000 online Indians plan to join social networking sites each day over the next six months, the study said. The study, published last week, was carried out through an online survey of 2,000 people in five Indian cities.