India is a land of many languages and dialects. Hindi is the official language and a sizeable population speaks Hindi while the rest are comfortable in their regional language. Though English is spoken in the metros and is the recognized official language, a majority of the Indian population do not speak the language.
English is the language most widely used on the internet and the social media. But the hold of the regional languages on the general public is strong and all important communication has to be in these languages especially in a country like India where only 76% are literate and in that only 10% knows English. That been the case the role of regional languages in the social media cannot be undermined.
Let us look at why social media is so important for a country’s growth.
Importance of social media in growth
Social media has revolutionized the way the world functions. Facebook, twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn to name a few ensure that you are up to date with all latest happening in the lives of your family and friends and the world at large. Here is a platform that can transform developing countries. It has never been easier than now to reach a wide segment of the society and educate them, provide valuable inputs on health and finances.
- Social media plays a crucial role in saving lives. The outbreak of any major disease or a natural calamity is first known on social media. With clever monitoring of the situation many lives can be saved.
- Farmers in the rural area can check on the current buying and selling price of crops and make profits.
- Artists and small time entrepreneurs can market their products and services online and improve their business.
- Social media plays a key role in the spread of education.
These are few of the more noticeable roles that social media plays in fostering growth in the society.
Role of Regional languages in social media
As stated earlier, a majority of the Indian rural population is not well versed in English and is most comfortable in their regional tongue. Some of the top brands have realized that if they want a greater audience they must make the foray into regional language on social media. They have realized that close to 60% of the urban population too access content in regional language when compared to English. And that is the reason that Facebook is available in several local languages. According to google, local language consumption is four times that of English language.
Therefore not only to enhance your personal business and to express yourself most satisfactorily is regional language essential, but also for the growth of the nation. To understand all the nuances of the various plans and schemes introduced by the government, the use of regional languages is a must otherwise the purpose will stand defeated.
Several studies have shown that social media activities which are expected to get maximum returns are in regional languages because 45% of online users consume regional language content. Today low costing smart phones are available which along with low data plans have made internet available in almost all rural areas. |
According to Mindshift, a social media research agency vernacular websites are growing at a phenomenal rate of 56 % per year when compared to English websites which are growing only at 11%.
Thus we see that regional language in social media is important for:
- Its reach to the interior most part of the country where English is not spoken.
- It will lead to development and growth of internet and the spread of knowledge
- Only 10% Indians speak English while the remaining literates are well versed in a local language.
- Reports suggests, by 2018 India will have 850 smartphone users hence the greater need for regional language.
The future is bright for regional languages
To make an informed decision it is paramount that you understand the language and hence the regional language plays a very crucial role in the social media. But previously there was no supporting infrastructure like compatible software and data connectivity for the growth of local languages. With technology advancing by leaps and bounds and it has defined the way local language reaches the public.
According to IMRB if regional languages are made available online then 10.72 million rural population will opt for internet which in turn will increase the reach to 43% of the population. Hence the switch to regional language will usher in an era where there will be more internet consumption, greater growth, more literacy, better health and greater economic boost for the country.