‘Vocal for Local’: Its time for India to be self-reliant and launch its own Facebook and Google

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Compared to Instagram (4.84%), YouTube (3.26%), and Twitter (2.57%), Facebook has a share of 86.04% in Indian Social Media Market. However, Google dominates with 91.89%. Also, Facebook’s WhatsApp is leading the market in instant messaging with 400 million-plus users making other messaging apps diminutive.

The imperative part of this is that not a single one of the above brands is local. And this gives insight that why 95% of the Indian digital ad revenue flow overseas. Some other reasons for foreign ownership of digital and social platforms are privacy and data security are the most ranked.          

China realized long ago that they don’t want western brands to dominate and own its citizens, especially in the digital media because of which they launched their own versions of unique avatars of Facebook, Google, etc. with a billion users of it. Say for example WeChat 619.6 million average daily active users along with 1.132billion monthly active users.

A Tencent Holdings entity, WeChat is one of the most valuable companies in the world today worth over US$500 billion. WeChat is all about all-in-one messaging app WhatsApp, Facebook, Google News, Tinder and Pinterest combined. It is used for shopping, paying bills, restaurant bookings, transferring money, etc. People can also create posts on their newsfeed called WeChat Moments and it is found that Chinese users spend about 70 minutes daily in this app. China had created a huge ad revenue digitally with apps like Sina Weibo (Chinese Twitter), QQ, Baidu (the local equivalent of Google), Zhihu (China’s Quora), Douban (a platform for users to express themselves, their likes, dislikes, etc.), Jinri Toutia (with a different style of news, features articles, videos, memes ), etc. Comparing this achievement of China with India, we had reached nowhere.

Also taking the top 50 sites by traffic in Alexa, India own only five names: Indiatimes.com, Hot star, Manoramonline, moneycontrol.com, ndtv.com, Rediff.com, icicibank.com. Immense revenue generation is the most noticed benefit of growing and promoting local social and digital ecosystem. By developing a serious culture in research, it is possible for India to capitalize on so called demographic dividend. Only with a ‘Big game mentality’ it is possible.

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