The report highlighted that the medium is increasingly used by political institutions and 2-5 per cent of election budgets are estimated to be spent on social media initiatives.
     
"Small-scale campaign responsibilities are usually outsourced by the political parties whereas critical election campaigns are managed in-house by the party experts," it said.
     
The report said that the number of social media users is expected to grow 17 percent to reach 91 million in urban India by December 2013, on the back of rising Internet penetration due to increasing affordability of smartphones and availability of cost effective data plans.
    
The number of social media users in urban India reached 78 million by June 2013, the report said.
    
It said that facebook is the leading website accessed by 96 percent of all social media users and it is most used to connect with friends, publishing content and searching contacts. The survey was conducted across 35 cities of the country.
     
The report said that social networking through mobile phones is widely observed with 19.8 million users accessing the websites on mobiles.
    
"With mobile penetrations reaching very high levels and an increasing number of individuals owning smartphones that allow Internet access, social networking is rapidly penetrating the Internet user base across length and breadth of India," the report said.
     
Affordable mobile Internet plans additionally serve to increase usage levels, it added.
     
The report said that ‘non-working women’ are tipped to be the next emerging demographic segment with nearly 10 percent of them accessing social media.

(Agencies)

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