Today, i got a request on twitter asking about Social Media Landscape of Nepal. I wrote in detail all the things that i know which is listed here. If you are planning to launch a social media campaign targeting Nepal or just looking to know more about digital landscape of this country then i hope this helps you.
Here are the Q&As:
1) What is the lifestyle of a person from the Middle Income Group in Nepal?
Nepal though looks like a very poor country from outside but Nepal’s middle class is very vibrant and is at par with India. There is though certainly some difference in people of middle class who live in Kathmandu and people who live outside Kathmandu. Average income of people in Kathmandu is around 40% more than that of who live outside KTM i.e. in other parts of Nepal.
In case of shopping habit and purchasing power, KTM has larger share as the only city in Nepal with Malls and multiplex is KTM.. If you are planning to launch a social media campaign for any company in Nepal then all you have to do is target middle class of KTM. Though hardly few companies have their official outlet in Nepal but you can easily buy all the latest tech gadgets in KTM.
For an example, Apple has no official presence anywhere in Nepal but you can buy the latest iPhone within 1 week of its launch and people in KTM buy it in large numbers. 3G is available in Nepal and 4G is about to be launched very soon. Interesting point to remember is that Nepal is the first country in South Asia to launch 3G … way before India did…though wide usage of 3G wasn’t present earlier due to high price.
2) Are people tech savvy?
Very tech savvy. but as i said already there’s a difference between people who live in KTM and who live outside. You can buy all the tech gadgets but only in KTM. Outside KTM its hard to buy latest gizmo though you will find most people using smartphones or any other high end phones which they buy either from India or purchase it from KTM.. You may not find too many iPhones outside KTM but you will certainly find many people using andorid phones all over country. There are around 1.5 Millions Nepalese on Facebook but usage of Twitter is very low.. I guess around 10000 – 20000 only.
3) Does social media get a lot of media attention?
Mainstream media of Nepal is a bit hesitant of Social Media but nevertheless less they do write about social media campaigns regularly though with a pinch of salt. They just don’t take social media that seriously. They think a bunch of kids shouting on Facebook or Twitter does not change anything. Which i think is the case with most traditional media all over the world.
I will show you a few link over here.
Stop Monsanto in Nepal
You may have heard about Monsanto. A US company which produces Hybrid Maize and has a very dubious history all over the world. Monsanto with partnership with USA-AID was coming into Nepal to promote their GMO. Folks got together, started above Facebook Page and got enough support that finally Gov. of Nepal had to stop Monsanto from launching its seeds in Nepal.
परिवर्तनका लागि हामी नेपाली एक (We all Nepali together for the change)
This was the first grass root social media campaign of Nepal. Huge number of Nepali celebrities are associated with this group. This group organizes programs to push for change in Nepal. They have had lots of mentions in traditional media of Nepal.
A loose charity group organized on Twitter. they collect donations and help street children and do such other charity programs. Have had some media mentions.
4) Is there any local digital destination there?
Nope. Nepal has no home grown local digital destination. Facebook has majority share while twitter is catching up. Besides that few local blogs do get fair share of traffic like mysansar.com which is completely in Nepali.
5) Any other thoughts on Social Media Lifestyle!
If you compare Nepal’s social media landscape with India or Pakistan then it is fairly small. Officially only 4% of Nepali population is online but unofficial number is large.
Rating agency only count the Broadband and DSL as internet users. But a huge numbers of online users are from mobile or use 3G on their cellphone. they are out of the count.
You will find people in Nepal who are 24 hrs on Facebook but probably have never seen Facebook’s website on a Computer. They manage everything from their cellphone.
6) Does social media play a big role in garnering support for causes?
Yes, it does.
I have already given few links above. Another case worth mentioning is of Anuradha Koirala. She is the founder of Maiti Nepal a NGO which works against Human trafficking.
Anuradha Koirala was nominated as CNN Hero 2010. Voting was done by CNN online and Facebook users of Nepal voted in huge numbers and finally CNN awarded the CNN Hero award to Anuradha Koirala.