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1,249 local language websites operate in India: Study

According to a study conducted jointly by Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and IMRB, there are 1,249 local language websites operating in India. This number was arrived at by using a language specific web crawler and a manual search.

According to a study conducted jointly by Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and IMRB, there are 1,249 local language websites operating in India. This number was arrived at by using a language specific web crawler and a manual search.

Hindi, with 523 websites, was found to be the most favoured local language in the country, followed by Tamil and Telugu which respectively have 153 and 117 websites. Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Punjabi and Marathi are the other local languages in which online content can be found in India, the study states.

Blogs account for the highest number of websites hosting local language content as out of 1,249 local language websites, 523 were blogs. Entertainment and News portals (for some reason, the researchers clubbed Entertainment and News under a single category!) come second in the list and stand at 284, followed by 124 personal websites.

The reason that most of the local language sites are personal websites, blogs and entertainment or news websites, is that local language content on internet is still seen as “labour of love” rather than “need of the hour”, according to the study.

The study states that Hindi and Bengali have third and eighth highest number of speakers globally, whereas they do not figure anywhere among the top ten internet languages. On the other hand, Italian, Korean and French, which do not figure among the top 10 languages spoken in the world, are among the top ten internet languages.

The study further reveals that the demand for local language content and applications mainly come from non-metros. Local language emails are mostly used in small cities. Local language news is mostly being consumed in small towns where the population is less than five lakh.

IAMAI suggests that internet companies should proactively reach out to local language users with new content and new applications in order to bring new users to the internet and follow the examples of vernacular newspapers and local language TV channels.

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