THE ISSUE

Alexa Internet, a subsidiary of the US tech giant Amazon, analyzes web traffic data and ranks about thirty million global web pages. The ranking data are available for global web traffic, country specific web traffic and category-wise online traffic. As per Alexa’s recent ranking for Nepal, the country’s top ten popular online portals comes from five sectors namely search engines, video platforms, news and media portals, social media, and encyclopedia.

NEPAL’S 10 POPULAR WEBSITES

Following the global trends; Google (.com), YouTube (.com), and Facebook (.com) rank in the first, second, and fifth places respectively. In Nepal, unlike Wikipedia (.org) ranking in the tenth position in the global ranking, it ranks in the ninth position instead. Rest of the ranking positions belong to country’s local online portals. And all these six websites represent Nepal’s news and media platforms. In summary, while Google (.com) dominates Nepal’s major share of search queries, Facebook (.com) does the same thing when it comes to the social media platforms, and Wikipedia (.org) rules online encyclopedia market.

OUR OBSERVATIONS

The most recent MIS Report from Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA) indicate Nepal’s current internet penetration rate reaching more than 67.23 percent. That means, Nepal continues to create more opportunities for the Government of Nepal authorities and the local and global techpreneurs to harness available internet and technologies to design appropriate goods and services.

Performance of Global Platforms in Nepal

From available data from Google Trends for the past twelve months, we clearly saw local internet users using Google (.com) platform to search for contents related to video games, cricket, weather, and some of the public services. Similarly, the available data for YouTube search results indicates internet users in Nepal using the platform mainly to watch movies and music videos. In regards to social media platforms, one estimate (for September 2018) shows about ten million Nepali Facebook users, which is about 32.6 percent of the country’s entire population. The same estimate also highlights that more Nepali males (61.3%) are on Facebook than the Nepali females (38.9%) and Nepalis in the age group of 18 – 34 years are the most active Facebook users. From these details, we infer that most of the Nepali Facebook users comprise of college/university students and young Nepali professionals who use the platform to connect with their families and friends and also for keeping them updated with the most recent news and updates. For Wikipedia, a considerable share of Nepal’s connected population benefits from it.

Performance of Local Platforms

All the six local platforms that rank in the list of top ten popular portals in the country comes from news and media platforms. On top of that, all of them are Nepali language news and media portals and, considerably, do not have long history of their existence. English section of these platforms do not rank well in the ranking. In addition, all of them are involved in online publishing only. From these observations, we acknowledge that it is common for Nepali language platforms to perform better when 44.64 and 32.77 percentages of Nepalis use Nepali as their first and second language respectively. In regards to the country’s print media platforms, though they have played significant roles in Nepal’s socio-economic and political transformations, they have slowly been losing their markets in the market. We can definitely say that if they do not evolve with the local users’ changing preferences, they might stand at the verge of collapse one day.

In the light of growing local internet users and booming of online platforms for various other purposes – most commonly in the areas of e-commerce and online job search, there platforms still lag behind in terms of generating online traffic. So, for them, massive investments in advertisements and in making users aware of their platforms (and related) activities are a must.

Users’ Trends for Platforms

Google (.com) being a search engine in itself, it gets only 0.50 percentage of web traffic from alternative search results. On the other hand, Wikipedia (.org) and YouTube (.com) get major share of their traffic from online search engines (71.70% and 16.90% respectively). For rest of the platforms, the figures stand below ten percent, i.e., the users directly open homepages of these platforms.

In regards to the average time spent on a daily basis, only Facebook (.com), Khabarhub (.com), Google (.com) and YouTube (.com) figures are in double-digits and rank in declining order in this aspect. However, when it comes to daily page views per visitor for these ten platforms, only Google (.com) contains data in double-digits followed by Facebook (.com) in second place with only 7:92 and YouTube (.com) in third place with 6:4- page views. This figure for all local portals and Wikipedia have values less than 5.

Note: Alexa Internet, Inc. calculates rank from a combination of data for daily users and page views on ranked online platforms over a period of three month. The data used in this data visualization and analysis are correct as of November 22, 2019 (11:45AM Nepal Standard Time)

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