There’s an interesting discussion on local language internet in India by Mahesh following IAMAI report on the same. Some perspectives on the same:

  • Should there be local language internet – Absolutely! The power of internet lies in micro-segmentation, and there is no “need to dump Kannada” as Mahesh puts it.
  • Is there a market on local language internet in India – honestly, I don’t see it. Economic Times and Google launching local language sites is not an evidence of a market being there – it is a strategy to cover bases. Regardless of whether one takes the IAMAI numbers or Mahesh’s numbers of number of blogs, the numbers are very small to create any decent sized business.
  • UGC and Mobile – both very preliminary on local language. Imho, the experience on mobile would suggest that roman script might get adopted for short format content for local language use. The key reason behind lower usage of sms in lower-ARPU subs is not language, its pricing (as per telcos who have experimented with it).
  • Growth curve – again, I fail to see the discontinuity here – there is no sudden jump expected in internet penetration which brings in a large base of non-english users in reach, there is no authoring tools which seem to have the potential to train millions of users in short period of times, the progress on fonts has been slow and steady over past few years.

Would love to get others’ views on the above and where they see the opportunity in the local language internet. Videos, in my mind, is clearly one area where local language internet rules, largely because the experience is seamless and it fits nicely into our consumption patterns. Is there a business opportunity here?