A Nokia Siemens Networks analysis of the browsing habits of people in ten emerging markets reveals remarkable similarities to mature markets in the services being used. The countries studied were India, Jordan, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Morocco, Pakistan, Thailand, Ukraine and Vietnam.
In most countries the major search engines feature the most often in the top ten most popular services, showing that people value being able to explore the Internet on their own terms. Google is dominant, with Yahoo and Windows live making it into the top ten in most countries.
Social networking sites (primarily Facebook) were also highly popular in all studied countries, topping the list in two. The Internet is clearly about connecting people with their peers in these countries as such as anywhere else in the world. At least two social networking sites were on the list of each country, except for Vietnam, which had only one.
The importance of social interaction is underlined by the presence of content sharing sites, demonstrating how much being connected is about sharing things – particularly content like online video. YouTube was featured on the lists of nine countries while Wikipedia made it to those of six.
Despite the popularity of the global sites, eight out of the ten countries had a local Internet portal or content site (typically with news content) in the top ten. The demand for local content is also reflected in the search terms entered into Google in each country (source: www.google.com/insights/search/#). In a majority of the countries surveyed, the name of the country itself or its main city was one of the most-entered search terms in Google. Also, it is worth noting that the big international sites that dominated the Internet usage in these countries, like Google, YouTube, Yahoo or Facebook, are typically interaction platforms that lend themselves readily to the consumption and distribution of local content or communication with family and friends.
The research was published in Expanding Horizons, Issue 2010.