The FINANCIAL -- The number of internet subscribers in Georgia has increased by nearly 70% according to the 10 month data of 2013, compared to the year 2012.
People in Georgia are largely dependent on using social networks. 78% of people who use the internet get information from Facebook. TV programmes comment on social networks on a regular basis. This helps to attract more and more people to the platform. Social media in Georgia is nearly at the same level as it is in Europe. Myvideo is creating a new android application which will offer people all the Myvideo services but adapted for TVs.
The number of internet subscribers in Georgia is 522,851 for the 10 month data of 2013, according to statistics provided by the Georgian National Communications Commission. This number was 308,028 in 2012, and 275,047 in 2011. The majority of internet subscribers is in Tbilisi - 276,300 in total. After Tbilisi comes Batumi with 30,982, Kutaisi with 29,105 and Rustavi with 28,194, according to GNCC.
As it is written in the July-September Report about Internet Freedom in Georgia, the various surveys have shown that in Georgia the priority for internet users is checking social networks, searching for information, talking on Skype and using e-mail.
“Myvideo is creating a new android application for TVs. It will be available for Georgian users. They will be able to use all services offered by Myvideo.ge not only by computer but by TV too,” said Mamuka Monavardisashvili, one of the members of Myvideo.ge.
Myvideo participated in “Bakutel 2013” on 2-5 December in Baku. It was the greatest telecommunication and information technology exhibition to have taken place. This exhibition took place in Baku’s expo centre and 300 companies took part from 28 countries over the world. One of the representatives of Myvideo from Georgia visited Bakutel 2013. In the exhibition space was a representative stand of Myvideo.az. Myvideo.az is the analogue of the most popular Georgian video portal.
“The android application was first created for Azerbaijanis. The presentation of this product took place at the exhibition in Baku. Myvideo.az also participated in this exhibition, as the Azerbaijani branch of Myvideo. At the moment in Azerbaijan there is a technological boom, internet technologies and communication systems are developing very rapidly. This year is called the year of information and communication technologies in Azerbaijan. And I think our participation in this exhibition will have good results,” he added.
In total 1,205,764 videos were uploaded on Myvideo.ge in 2013, from this amount 12,659 were films. The number of registered users is 1,208,170. Out of this number 45.85% are women, and 54.15% are men. The number of users from foreign countries is 10%. 104,908,811 people visited the Myvideo.ge webpage in 2013. From this amount 26,423,578 people used the Live TV function. 12,000,000 advertisements were shown in the year 2013, this number was 10,000,000 in 2012. The number of unique users every day is between 150,000 and 170,000. The numbers of applications downloaded were 23,425 for iPhone, 16,362 for iPad, and 19,793 for Android for January-November 2013, according to statistics provided by Myvideo.ge.
More and more people think of the internet as their main source of getting news and information about current events happening in the country. As of today the number of people is 20%. People get their information about politics from the social network Facebook. 78% of people who use the internet get their information from Facebook, by comparison 27% get it from news agencies. People also get information from Youtube (26%) and Myvideo.ge (21%), the report says.
6% of 3,838 interviewees think of the internet as the main source for getting information, 14% think of it in second place as a source of information, according to the September Report 2013 published by the National Democratic Institute.
The most popular webpage in Georgia is Facebook. After it come Google and YouTube, according to Alexa, web information company founded in 1996.
“Social media in Georgia is nearly at the same level as it is in Europe. Social media has been getting used in Georgia for a long time,” Giorgi Datukishvili, the Dean at Caucasus School of Technologies, told The FINANCIAL. “It took about 7-8 years for it to become popular, because in Georgia television has a significant impact on people. Social networks became popular only since TV programmes did commentaries about them. The first example was the “PS” programme which did a report on Odnoklasniki.ru as a social network. The very next day it became incredibly popular. After that they advertised Facebook and large numbers of people moved to this social network. They have not done any reporting about Google + which is similar to Facebook in technical aspects. However, it is not used by Georgians because it is not known to them,” Datukishvili, told The FINANCIAL.
“If we took for example Europe, they are not dependent on any social networks, while people in Georgia are overly dependent on social networking. Society is largely blocked from having real relationships, as it is more difficult for them and for most people it is easier to communicate through social networking,” he added.
“The attitude towards applications is not as good in Georgia. First of all, it depends on the average ages of those in society. The main mass, which is comprised of people aged 35-40, cannot use modern technologies. So they do not have the ability to use applications. Especially if you have internet applications, you need the internet for that and using the internet in the Georgian reality is quite expensive. It’s true that a large part of society have iPhone or Galaxy phones, but the majority of the population have a Nokia worth GEL 39, which is sold at a rate of 2,000 units a day. This is a mobile which has no interneting option. So ordering applications from the side of companies is not cost-effective. These applications are expensive and having them is a matter of prestige for the company rather than being for the people who will actually use them,” Datukishvili said.
“Online advertising is very effective and also has its own users. It is very difficult to determine how many people will see the ads when you do them online. People may use the internet to access various social networks, and so it is necessary to use Facebook advertising for companies, however it is expensive. But if no one enters the ads you are not charged for them. It is very expensive to do an advertisement on various webpages, which promise plenty of viewers, for example Myvideo. But there are no statistics available to the companies about how many people have seen their ads, nor how many times the same person has seen it. So no one knows how many viewers a company will actually have. All modern businesses need to keep apace of all the latest news. They must also use modern technologies,” he said.
“We can say that the information received via the internet has become increasingly more reliable to people than that which they might receive from the TV or other media sources. A common occurrence is people crosschecking information they have heard on the TV on their favourite websites,” said Jaba Shavishvili, PR Consultant at PR and Marketing Communications Company GEPRA.
26% of interviewed people in Georgia use the internet daily, 9% - at least once a week, 2% - at least once a month, and 49% use the internet less than once a month according to the 2012 data by the Caucasus Research Resource Center, which has monitored the situation in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia since 2004. Data for 2013 is not yet available.