A research by Mozilla, the makers of Firefox, has revealed that Internet users in India tend to go for quality net content online instead to freebies. The research was carried out by LIRNEasia. Report titled ‘Cost-strained optimization: User perspectives on internet use in India’ by Gayani Hurulle and Helani Galpaya, suggest that just the prospect of earning rewards online do not attract India users towards apps.
Users download promoted apps or refer them to friends to earn monetary rewards. “However, limitations may arise as users have to refer friends in order to earn rewards and most ‘pyramid-like’ reference systems have a limited shelf-life before eventually collapsing,” the report read.
“We worried that rewarding people for the use of apps would have a ‘tunneling effect’, where users don’t explore the wider internet. But such fears are premature in India, where we see diverse content being accessed even by users of these apps,” said Helani Galpaya, CEO of LIRNEasia.
The report highlighted that unaffordability and the lack of digital skills were amongst the reasons that people didn’t Internet. Reliance Jio SIM users are already online, thanks to company’s subsidized data offerings. Most used Jio SIM as secondary SIM cards. Others cited reasons such as difficulties in affording a 4G-compatible device for not being able to capitalize on Jio’s free data offers.
“While TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) has ruled that zero rating is too harmful to consumers and competition to be allowed, there’s still a need to find alternative ways of connecting the unconnected. From this research, it doesn’t look like earned reward applications will be the answer,” said Jochai Ben-Avie, Senior Global Policy Manager, Mozilla.
The research was conducted in December, 2016 with people from five locations in and around New Delhi. This includes Sriniwasipuri, Rajouri Garden, Chattarpur, Keshav Puram and Shakarpur.