India To Clock Fastest Facebook User Growth Globally
India, which has the highest number of Facebook users outside the US, will account for the fastest user growth to the social networking platform this year, according to research firm eMarketer. The report predicts that that India will see 40% growth in the number of Facebook users, the largest among other markets globally and the growth will take place more than twice as quickly as other fast growing markets such as Indonesia and Brazil.
eMarketer projects that Facebook users in India will hit 108.9 million by the end of this year from 77.8 million in 2013. The firm estimates the user base in the world’s second most populous country to surge to 136.3 million in 2015 and 211.2 million in 2018.
“India’s rapid growth is not due to a small installed base of Facebook users. Already, by the end of 2013, nearly 78 million people in the country logged in to the site at least monthly. By the end of 2018, more than half a billion people in Asia-Pacific will use Facebook each month,” said the research firm.
Currently, emerging markets such as India, Indonesia and Brazil are the key “growth markets” for the California-headquartered firm, which is looking for newer ways to expand revenue growth and increase user base in these markets. As per data from the social media giant, global monthly active users (MAU) stood at 1.28 billion by the end of March this year, a 15% increase from a year earlier.
“In all regions, an increasing number of our MAUs are accessing Facebook through mobile devices, with users in India, Brazil and the US representing key sources of mobile MAU growth over the first quarter of 2014 as compared to the same period in 2013,” the firm said in a report.
In India alone, the company has crossed 100 million active users in India and now aspires to have 1 billion users in the country. However, in an interview with ET in April Javier Olivan, VP, growth & analytics at Facebook told ET that as part of a 10-year road map to increase its user base in India manifold, it is working with telecom, technology and handset companies to increase internet penetration, including under its Internet.org initiative. The company is also providing free basic Internet services to mobile users, and encouraging them to embrace data.
Experts believe until now, Facebook focus in markets like India is to capture users. However, the need is to focus on the growth side of the company, or else it may have to face challenges from Google+ and even start-ups like Snapchat. To tap the existing and new markets in India, he said mobile is the way to go.
Facebook established its first India office in Hyderabad in 2010 when its user base was less than 10 million. Needless to say, of over 100 million current users in India, nearly 84 million access the platform on their mobile phones.
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