By all means, 2009 is a milestone for social networking, especially for Internet-devoid-and-chatty citizens of India.
Most of homegrown social networks took the back seat and the ones to survive are driven by media companies (with deep pockets).
Expectedly, Orkut/Facebook ruled the charts (the gap), but Twitter is the one who will potentially disrupt the social networking game in India.
Twitter’s explosive growth in 2009 is being reinforced by the tool being embraced by Indian media.
Indian media missed the blogging bus, and they couldn’t afford to miss the microblogging one. Apart from integrating their news rss feed with Twitter, what’s really happening is that media celebrities (and ofcourse, bollywood celebrities) are using the new channel to share their candid opinion bypassing the BS surrounding journalism (and the need to stay neutral).
Nevertheless, what’s really happening in the entire process is that Twitter is getting all sorts of media attention (news channels keep promoting their twitter channel) and is being introduced to layman (at least there is curiosity about the tool).
Most importantly, the always-on-access via sms (e.g. Airtel Twitter partnership) is where you will see Twitter beating the heck out of Orkut, when it comes to engagement and attention(*).
What’s your take on social networking space in India? What’s your prediction for 2010?
Recommended Survey: Twitter in India – People Use it as a News Service [Survey Report]
* – For Twitter, web is just ‘another’ source of traffic and numbers do not showcase the real interest from India
* – Comscore data is representative(?) of site’s traffic
– We have excluded LinkedIn, as it’s more of a professional networking site and the intent is very diff as compared to the ones mentioned here (LinkedIn and the professional networking story in India)