Reverie Language Technologies has announced its first Digital Indian Language Report, to help Indian businesses and app developers identify what areas to focus on while localising for the Indian market. The report tracks trends and preferences among users of the Swalekh Flip keyboard between January and June 2017, which has an install base of more than 27,000 unique Android users.
The languages with the most regional potential are Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Telugu and Bengali, which together account for over 75 percent of the engaged audience who prefer using their native languages on the web. A cluster of Indic languages are digitally threatened, and the adoption of these languages depend on handset manufactures providing the users to type in Dogri, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Manipuri, Nepali, Sanskrit and Santhali. Those using the Hindi language are most likely to use emoji, followed by speakers of Marathi, Gujarati, Punjabi, Bengali and Telugu.
Arvind Pani, CEO and co-founder Reverie Language technologies said, “The report highlights the need to build momentum to achieve Language Equality on the Internet and to prevent Indian Languages from becoming digitally marginalised. In the coming years, digital Indic content shall see a major boost from utility-centric sectors such as government services, digital payments and e-commerce, as well as growth from the media and entertainment industry. Indic Keyboard Swalekh Flip enables Indic language users to communicate in their own language and create Indic language content. We look forward to sharing the next bi-annual version of the report from July to December 2017 by February 2018.”
About 40 percent of all activity was in instant messaging applications, with the top apps in the category being WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Android Messenger. A major portion of the app usage was observed in low friction verticals and utility oriented apps. Entertainment, news, messaging and social media are the low friction verticals, while the utility-oriented apps included calculators, calendars, note taking and ticket booking. Each of the vertical is expected to see growth in the tens of millions of users by 2021, with chat apps projected to see 400 million users while entertainment apps projected to acquire 392 million users.
The report also identifies some of the major problems or roadblocks in the adoption of more digital services and engaging with more verticals. One of the pain points is the creation of regional content, which is accompanied by problems involving the typing and viewing of text in Indic languages. As most of the services are available only in English, the regional language users feel uncomfortable using these services, and still, prefer traditional offline approaches. Another problem is the low awareness among Indic language users of the availability of apps and services that are suitable to their needs.
Interested developers and businesses can download the report from the Reverie website.