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Are you ready for Digital Diwali?

19th October 2017

Hi everyone,

To mark the Diwali celebrations we’ve launched a new study to explore how more and more 18-44 year-olds are using their mobiles to celebrate the festival with their loved ones.

According to the research, while younger adults still participate in traditional festivities, 84 percent think smartphones improve the celebrations while 9 out of 10 feel that emoji help them better express their festive spirits.

The report also found that more than half of users intend to download Diwali-related apps, such as puja apps, for people away from home and wondering how to do the Diwali Lakshmi puja like their moms, or firecracker apps, that can be used to perform virtual rituals. Growing real-world concerns about firecrackers may be aiding the popularity of these apps. 59 percent of respondents were concerned about air pollution from crackers, 55 percent were concerned about noise pollution and 48 percent were worried about injuries or burns. Though every region has its own Diwali rituals and customs, this study shows how smartphones are being used in creative ways to help Indians share their festive feelings. For example, 39 percent will share the ‘Footprints’ emoji to signify the Diwali Lakshmi Puja, while more than half (56 percent) will send GIF-based Diwali greetings to their loved ones.

Aarti Samani, Tech Evangelist for SwiftKey India, commented: “Far from turning their back on tradition, 18-44 year-olds are using technology to reach out to their friends and family to celebrate Diwali in exciting new ways. It’s amazing to see people taking generic emoji such as Footprints and imbuing them with a deeper, culturally-specific meaning. This is what mobile technology should be all about – helping people better express themselves, their personalities and their identities.”

Other key findings from the study include:

  • 90 percent of smartphone users think they will benefit from having multiple Indian languages on their mobile during Diwali, allowing them to communicate in different languages and scripts
  • More than two thirds (70 percent) of respondents will make most or all their Diwali-related purchases via their mobile device this year
  • 36 percent also gift money using their smartphone during the festival, with 30 percent opting for virtual gift sharing.
  • 84 percent of respondents intend to use Diwali-themed filters on Snapchat and Instagram
  • Eight of ten people (82 percent) want to see more Diwali-themed smartphone apps

Aarti  continues: “As smartphone uptake accelerates across India, there will be even more opportunity for communities to join together in virtual festivities around the country’s biggest cultural moments. However, it’s vital that mobile technology doesn’t impose limitations on how people communicate – such as forcing them to use QWERTY keyboards or western scripts. Smartphone adoption should help us preserve and maintain traditions and values, rather than eroding them.”

SwiftKey’s ‘Digital Diwali’ study can be downloaded by visiting: SwiftKey Diwali report 2017