I recently discovered this interesting tweet by the Police Commissioner of Bangalore: M. N. Reddi. Even though we have seen similar posts in the Western world, in India – I think – this might change behavior and influence the society on a bigger scale.
As the Times of India reported last June social media platforms are helping to accelerate an emotional shift in India. Combining this phenomena with a few facts on Social Media in India does the math for me to enflame sparks of hope this could have a tremendous impact:
1.) Corruption as a buzz on Social Media in India: Beginning of this year the most discussed topic on Social Media in India was ‘Corruption’.
2.) Location of discussions on Social Media: Obviously the traffic is the highest in big hubs and thus more likely to spread faster (e.g. Mumbai alone has 3.7 million Facebook users), but on the same side of the coin 60% of Social Media traffic comes from non-metro cities in India, which could make it even a greater discussion across India.
3.) Sheer number & potential of users: Currently there are 243 million internet users in India. Total users may increase to 500 million by 2018. If you take a closer look at this numbers, it indicates that India will become larger than the US in terms of number of Internet users by the end of 2014 says Rajan Anandan (MD, Google India).
4.) Mobility of internet users: The mobile penetration of active internet users in India is 220 million. Nearly 41% of them (92+ million) are active social media users on their mobile phones, which could make incidents spread within seconds around the whole city. This number is even predicted to grow up to 165 million by 2015.
5.) Availability/Access of Social Media: Apparently Social Media is already available to 60% of India’s population.
6.) Growth of twitter users: In 2013, twitter was expected to receive an average of 25,000 Indians joining every day.
All in all, if managed in a right way, Social Media could potentially foster an huge part of the change which is about (and needed to) happen in the Indian society tackling issues such as corruption, rape and trust into politics.