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December 16, 2011

Emerging countries even more addicted to Internet: report

Internet has had a more pronounced impact on consumers in emerging economies than in developed markets

By Jason Stamper

A global study by TNS, a Kantar company and part of WPP, notes that consumers in fast-growth markets having access to Internet find their lives transformed radically.

The findings show that as infrastructural advances open up these markets to the potential of the web, new arrivals to the Internet embrace it to expand their world and exploit the opportunities available to them.

When asked if the Internet helped in improving their self-confidence, 12% of online users in France and Germany agreed, compared to 42% in China, 52% in India and 55% in Vietnam and79% in Saudi Arabia.

About 44% of Turkey’s Internet population are said to be posting blogs, as against 43% in China and Mexico and 39% in India.

The study underlines that Internet has had a more pronounced impact on consumers in emerging economies than in developed markets.

The only developed market where blogging has caught the fancy of online populace is Italy, with 40% updating their blog each week, as against to 14% in the US and UK.

TNS chief development officer Matthew Froggatt said we have seen that the Internet can become addictive; some of the most engaged are those people in markets where Internet access has been limited. "Really understanding this emotional connection to the Internet presents significant opportunity for companies who need to reach consumers in new markets to build their business," Froggatt added.

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Internet access has cut into TV viewing habits, as in China and Brazil approximately 20% more Internet users will go online each day than will watch TV. "We have shifted from brands interrupting consumers to needing to engage with them," says Froggatt.

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