A Snapshot of Pakistan’s Digital Landscape in 2013 (INFOGRAPHIC)

Samra Muslim
2:37 pm on Jul 9, 2013

Samra has over 10 years of experience in public relations, marketing and communications, social media, event management, and brand activation in a diverse range of industries. She’s based in Karachi, Pakistan. You can find her on Twitter as @samramuslim.

Despite many challenges, Pakistan’s tech sector and web usage are booming. Advertising, marketing, social interactions, and shopping are all being changed in Pakistan’s new digital landscape. In this new infographic I created as a summary guide [1], here are some of the highlights:

Pakistan web and mobile stats 2013

  • Pakistan now has nine million Facebook users.

  • Pakistan’s fastest growing social site is actually Pring, a mobile-only messaging app that’s geared to work well over SMS.

  • Pring’s users are mostly rural. It has five million users right now.

  • Pakistanis sent 237.6 billion text messages in 2012.

  • There are 15 million mobile internet users in the country, from a total of about 29.1 million web users. There are 121 million mobile subscribers.

  • Estimated monthly e-commerce spending (in 2013) is about PKR 160 million, which is $1.6 million. It’s a fast-growing industry in the country.

  • There was 100 percent growth in digital advertising spending in Pakistan – to over PKR1 billion ($10 million) – at the end of 2012, but that’s still tiny compared to the overall industry numbers and potential. 

It is important to note that Pakistan is still struggling with multiple issues like internet censorship, lack of 3G services, and a paucity of online payment solutions. Note that 95 percent of e-commerce payments are done as cash-on-delivery. But millions of Pakistanis have learned to embrace digital platforms (via mobile and laptops/PCs) for work, to shop, to socialize, and keep themselves updated with the latest news.

Digital Pakistan infographic, June 2013

For more fun graphics like this one, check out previous entries in our infographic series.

(Editing by Steven Millward)

  1. Where new numbers were unavailable, I turned to sources such as the Economic Survey for 2011–12 by the government of Pakistan, on which the 2012–13 budget of the country is based.  ↩

  • http://www.websitedesign.com.pk Sajid

    How many times these same facts needs to be re-iterated. You need to show latest trends and in’s and out, no one cares about the infrastructure and how many sms’s you send…???

  • http://hansonfoods.com.pk Salman H. Khan

    I think the efforts been made to collect and compile the over all data has been impressive. Samra does deserves appreciation for the efforts she has put in.

  • http://www.samramuslim.com Samra Muslim

    Hey Sajid,

    if you can please elaborate what you mean by latest trends – that would be pretty fantastic and a great start for me to work on what is expected?
    PS – just FYI right now brands have hardly started using or thinking of digital, the communication and understanding for the infrastructure is important for them to start ‘thinking digital’

  • http://www.irhal.com Irfan Ahmad

    Where does the “PK Internet Number” of 29 million come from? Almost 50% of the world’s internet users visit Facebook so using that index we should have 18 million internet users in Pakistan and not 29. About 35% of the world’s internet users go to Yahoo! and Yahoo! has 7.8m users in Pakistan which translates to a maximum of 22m internet users. But again, using the Yahoo! index – in developing countries almost 75% of the internet users go to Yahoo! (since newbies like to go to well known internet sites) so Pakistan being a developing market is unlikely to have more than 18 million internet users.

    Since Facebook has 9m and Yahoo! has 7.8m users from Pakistan, where do the rest of the 21m users go? Do we have any sites with 5-7m users? Not to my knowledge. Most other sites max out on 2-3m users. And do we have dozens of such sites with 2 or 3m users? Probably not. So, if we have 29m users where are they? Visiting sites which we cannot name?

    According to PTA there were 2.1m broadband internet subscribers in Pakistan (any on dial-up?) so there must be 15 users per broadband connection. Raise your hand if you have more than one broadband connection at home. Go figure!

    Don’t even go to mobile – how many mobile internet users do not have broadband at home or work?

    I have been following the internet user growth rate in Pakistan since Nasser Ghazi brought the internet to Pakistan (anyone remember Digicom?), and the basis of the current numbers seems to have been a speech given by the PTA Chairman about 5 years ago where he plucked a number from the air and quoted that there were 18 million internet subscribers in Pakistan – after that statisticians have been applying assumed growth rates and extrapolating from this number. Why – because Morgan Stanley quoted this number in some report and since Mr Morgan and Mr Stanley are always right we started adding growth figures and came up to 29 million.

    Samra if you have some other source for this number I would love to stand corrected.

  • http://www.samramuslim.com Samra Muslim

    Completely agree with you Irfan – but unfortunately all the sources I have tapped on the internet users in Pakistan (reports, websites, etc) seems to take me to the 29 million users on paper – and no government or PTA report seems to give us any other number to work with.

    So as much as the maths does not seem to add up to that number, in the current situation of things, we have no choice to live with that number and work!

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