Best Social Media Platforms for Rural India

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Best Social Media Platforms for Rural India

The total number of online users has increased over the years in both rural and urban areas across India. This is forecasted to cross the 639 million mark by the end of 2020. The reports say that majority of user access of the internet in India is from social media platforms. The year 2019 witnessed a surge in the use of social media sites, driven by all types of content. The convenience of content accessible across devices and lower cost of online services resulted in noteworthy growth in the rural social media content consumption in 2020, especially in the lockdown. 

India is the 2nd largest marketplace worldwide for app downloads, and 19 billion apps were downloaded by Indian users in the year 2019, with 195 % growth over the last three years data compared to the global growth of 45 %. The average social media user across India invests 17 hours of their time on the social platforms every week, more than users in the USA and China. 

Not only youth but even matured people, children, and homemakers are the major online adopters in the current time. The majority of active online users use mobile phones as one of the major devices to access the internet across rural and urban India. With the likely increase in mobile traffic, the number of rural users accessing social media on mobile is only bound to amplify.

In 2021, it is predicted that there will be around 448 million social network users across India, a momentous boost from 2019, where it figured to around 351 million. In terms of high user base and popularity, here we present the best social media networks across India.


Facebook is the most used social networking site in India.  In the year 2023, the number of Facebook users in India is predicted to reach out to 444.2 million, up from 346.2 million in 2020, indicating a sturdy growth in the total social media platform’s user base. There is an average 10 percent boost in Facebook monthly active users (MAUs) year-over-year.  Moreover, 1.73 billion people, on average, log onto Facebook on a daily basis and are considered daily active users. The Family Monthly Active People (MAP) was 2.99 billion as of March 31, 2020, a boost of around 11 percent year-over-year.

India is the nation with the largest Facebook user base across the globe. With several features like pages, Facebook businesses, groups, and much more, it draws a lot of youth and business professionals to use the platform in as many approaches possible. 

India’s rural online users also adore Facebook. Facebook is all about connecting and sharing photos as well as videos in rural areas. It is often the only app on their mobile phones. Hence, it is the major gateway to online news and videos. Even baby boomers, Gen Xers, and mature people have profiles on Facebook. Brands need to align their marketing content with existing events to engage more users, which includes targeting the rural marketplaces.


WhatsApp, the best substitute for SMS, has even swiftly turned as a top choice for voice and video calls. On a global basis, WhatsApp has a user base of more than 1.6 billion. 

In India, the text message app was introduced in the year 2010, the app had more than 250 million users from India in 2019 and 460+ users in 2020. By 2023, it is predicted that this figure would exceed 666+ million internet users. Grippingly, amongst these users, more than 390 million people will access the web over their mobile phones. 

The messenger app also got major exposure when Facebook brought it under its own portfolio. More than a billion messages being sent and received each day along with an aspect to put status for 24 hours, WhatsApp is the second most favoured social media network across India.

For more than a year, the 40-year-old Sanju Devi from Bhusara village in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur district has been using WhatsApp to send images of her embroidered patches to customers in India and overseas.


From entertainment video creations to news channels, music, and informative tutorials, the YouTube video streaming application is delivering everything. If Google is the ideal search engine for anything, then YouTube is the search engine to search for any of the online videos.

More than 2 billion users are using this social media platform, and in India, YouTube gets 265+ million users per month because of the high growth in vernacular content. More than 95 % of the online video consumption is in Indian languages. 

Video creators prefer uploading their videos on YouTube as they are well rewarded as per their watch time and number of audiences. The platform has 1,200+ video creators across the nation and more than a million subscriber bases. YouTube is having an incredible growth in vernacular content consumption, said director of content partnerships of YouTube India, Satya Raghavan.

With vernacular content coming in, the use of YouTube in rural, Tier 2, and Tier 3 cities are going to boost considerably. As with all categories of videos on YouTube, the platform’s farming content runs on a large scale, with urban farmers providing lessons on farming in villages to large-scale traditional farmers displaying their high-tech equipment and modern agricultural methodologies. Sustainable farming is also a centre of attention, with an array of YouTubers posting videos linked to organic farming techniques.


ShareChat is India’s first social network in regional languages, and it holds a mirror to the heart of the nation, enabling videos, images, and content in local languages and dialects. Its algorithms also recognize users with comparable interests and lend a hand to them connecting over private chats. Appreciably, the social media app allows its users to share their valuable content on other personal messaging services. 

On asking Farid Ahsan, one of the founders of ShareChat as to why the sector is gaining so much consideration, he said, “As per research organizations, there are 350 million smartphone users in India, of which around 120 million users are completely fluent with English content. However, the others would have a preference of vernacular language over English content as an ideal mode of communication. This left us with a massive market size to venture into exploring the rural marketplaces. Further, as per the newest techINSIGHT released today by techARC, India had 502.2 million Smartphone users as of December end 2019, which means over 77 percent of Indians are using wireless broadband through Smartphones, which will revolutionize an even larger vernacular market.

How new mushrooming social platforms are changing the landscape of content consumption by locals (rural, small-town people) and impacting their life

There are new mushrooming platforms (other than mainstream platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Youtube) are popping up in the rural hinterland and transforming the content consumption by them. Now it no more depends on English content as these new channels are serving data in vernacular, which is well taken by locals as they understand it well in the regional language. Now the brand owners should comprehend this new amendment, initiating social media tactics and rural marketing strategies to plan the content as per needs and ride these channels to get eyeballs of their target groups.

From posting pictures to broadcasting videos to writing and sharing posts on numerous social platforms, people from all age groups have gathered to the internet in big numbers and prolong doing so. On the other side, with millions of onboarding data services and the introduction of new mobile apps in India each month, the country is a priority market for these application development companies.

These Social sites have given the common people a platform to raise their voices over problems and share their opinions across the globe. The boom is bound to amplify in the coming time as newer and enhanced social platforms get added to the present roster.

Social, videos, funny marriage jokes, job alerts, Bollywood content, and entertainment consumption have been seeing massive growth in different regional markets. In fact, new mushrooming social platforms like TikTok and Helo have boosted up their popularity charts because of their higher acceptance across Tier 2 & 3 cities. Because of the promise that vernacular holds in India, these social platforms want to make their presence felt rapidly.

New Mushrooming Social Platforms to Watch Out in India 

We bring you the new mushrooming social platforms in India to watch out for. As we mentioned above, these platforms are unlike from the likes of Facebook, Youtube, and Twitter, and should unquestionably be tried at least once. Here are more details about these new and leading social platforms, which type of users, make use of them, and how the top brands can utilize them.


The messaging apps yet persist in leading the market. One such messaging app is Houseparty, which enables group video messaging and video chats. It allows eight users to leap on at the same time. Users can also have fun throughout the chat with stickers, video-filters, and entertainment effects. 

The app, which was previously launched as Meerkat, rebranded to Houseparty in the year 2016 and reintroduced its feature as well. Since then, it has been swiftly boosting app store charts and rose considerably in the last few years. 

Houseparty turned extremely popular in India since the government executed a 21-day lockdown on March 24 due to the Coronavirus crisis. The application’s users in the country are not restricted to savvy youngsters and even included locals, rural, and small-town people. Also, the Indian trend is directly in-line with what’s happening in other parts of the world. Across the globe, Houseparty saw more than 651,000 downloads on March 25, a significant boost from which was under 25,000 on February 15, 2020.

Houseparty has also extended by launching an in-chat gaming functionality that allows users to play games with their colleagues and friends. More than 10 million users have by now played this game, according to reports. 

The app is said to provide ad-space, and digital marketers may resort to it and use it in innovative ways. Companies, small and big, can sponsor a “Houseparty” wherein influencers can answer questions or queries based on the asked brand and display attendees what the brand can in actual fact do for them. 

This way, one can market their company brand in the process and which would reach many users, including locals, as well as small-town people instantaneously. The app’s competitors include Snapchat, Facebook, and AOL Internet Messenger, yet Houseparty aims to grind down all competition in the coming time and stand out as one of the exclusive social platforms across India.


This one is considered to be a genuine medium amid content creators exploring to interact with significant content on social media. Known as the video ‘Pinterest’ in India, Trell is a technology-driven community platform which allows lifestyle discovery through video-based momentous content in diverse vernacular languages. 

The platform, which commenced as an Instagram handle in the city of Mumbai wherein was utilized to post events across the city. Within four months, Trell went viral and had a content base of more than 1.6 million lifestyle sections throughout the platform. 

The app has four components: discovery, creation, share and shop, and is obtainable on Web, iOS, and Android. For users, it is the precise opportunity to revolve vloggers and add a mix of pictures and online videos in a solitary trail in a variety of categories such as food blogs, makeup tutorials, cooking classes, travelogues, trip journals, and much more. Right from the e-commerce facet, the tab ‘shop’ will assist users in exploring through videos for online product shopping. 

Vloggers can even endorse business brands as influencers. Also, this application with an effortless user interface kicks off a range of activities to sustain user interactions and engagement, such as live games and rewards like coupons for Myntra, Swiggy, OYO, Paytm Cash, and much more.


Vero is a digital media platform similar to Instagram. This app enables the sharing of books, movies, TV, pictures, places as well as links. Vero assists open up the ‘collection’ to create an enhanced profile of the individual. It is also an exceptional intermediate for artists keen to make public their art to share it with their audiences. 

Vero showcases no advertisements, only content by four choices friends, close friends, acquaintances as well as followers. Vero is considered a genuine social network as no algorithms are enabling what you view, which makes the social platform organic. It is an exciting substitute for Instagram, and one can also utilize it for research objectives to know what customers are exploring. 

Vero has around 3 million users, and it aims to ease the pain points found in other social platforms such as data mining of individual information, advertisements, and non-chronological feeds. 

Where digital media marketing is considered, they can be trained their way around the application and built a Vero profile. The interactions for brands and marketing promotions come through a visually tempting fee, yet it is too before the time for Instagram or Facebook to reallocate ads to Vero. Yet the app is capable and digital marketers could look for marketing performance with its advanced business model.

Key Takeaways

Outlining the future of social media content consumption in India, research major Ernst and Young claim that 45 % of internet users consume regional language content. With the accessibility of low-cost smartphones, reduced rates of data plans, and enlargement of smart cities in rural areas, this number is likely to only boost.

Addressing the WEF India Economic Summit 2019 in Delhi, Wipro Chairman Rishad Premji said that there is a requirement to make sure internet services are “equitable” and vernacular content is made obtainable so that a digital divide is not produced.

Further, a remarkable thing about these best social media apps in India is that Facebook still dominates the list. Facebook owns WhatsApp and Instagram, and the trio mutually is giving a strong competition to other social media apps.

However, with Facebook having several security concerns, and Instagram weighed down with countless ads and algorithms, users commence to find a new opportunity for a social fix. Conducting experiments is always fine, and you should even try out these new mushrooming social channels.

With a specialization in rural marketing, Ascent Group is a leading social media marketing agency focusing on both mature and new social platforms. 

Please don’t forget to tell us what social media platform you have a preference and why in the comments section.

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3 Responses

    1. Yes, Anganwadi workers can also play an important role in rural marketing in India for businesses and can promote through word of mouth and social media platforms. They already have a well-established network of local professionals and acquaintances with whom they can interact daily. It’s time to connect with these workers and grow your business.

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