The Future of Indian Internet
In our modern world, we use social media, translate languages, do our homework, search for answers, make art, and many other things online. City and Country School students are no exception. Tech companies like Facebook and Google thrive in this world, and are always looking for new opportunities to make more money.
Around 47% of people all around the world have access to the internet, still leaving over half of the world unconnected. Almost a third of these unconnected people are in India. India has more unconnected people than any other country, and other unconnected areas such as China, Brazil, and Africa are either too difficult to connect or too small to be that much of
a target. All of these factors make India a big opportunity for large tech companies like Google and Facebook.
Fueled by these companies, India has already gained almost 500 million internet users over the past 11 years. Currently, Indians use WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger more than any other app, both of which are owned by Facebook. Google, wanting to catch up to Facebook, has set up free WiFi services at over 400 train stations in India, and has started a program to teach rural Indian women how to use the internet.
One of Google’s most popular platforms, YouTube, has also been trying to gain many Indian users. In 2014, YouTube started YouTube India Fanfest, where popular YouTube creators go to major cities in India to talk, perform, and meet fans. YouTube wants to show Indians that YouTube is a place where users can easily create and consume videos, and that they can too. Currently, five channels in the top 100 YouTube channels are Indian.
Because of how YouTube’s algorithms work, when Indians first create a YouTube account, some of the first channels they will see on the home page are produced in India. With so many Indians gaining access to the internet and using YouTube, popular Bollywood production company T-Series has recently reached 79 million subscribers, making it the second most-subscribed-to YouTube channel ever, just behind PewDiePie, a Swedish channel, at 80 million subscribers. PewDiePie mostly does gaming, review, and reaction videos, and has had many controversies during his time as a professional YouTube creator.
T-Series’ popularity is perfect for YouTube. It is a professional production company that makes music, produces lots of family-friendly content for viewers to consume, and represents India well. T-Series demonstrates to Indians that YouTube is not only a place where creators can make a living, but specifically a place where Indian creators can be successful and even dominate the competition.