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On March 31, 2014 Facebook officially announced that it hit 100 million users. “We crossed the landmark on March 31,” said Javier Olivan, vice-president, growth & analytics, Facebook who is one of the 3 guys who reports directly to Mark Zuckerberg. A big day for Social Media in India and a big day for Kevin D’Souza, the country growth manager for Facebook India.
The growth trajectory of Facebook in India has been pretty steep. Here’s a look at a few numbers.
- Facebook India hit 8 million users in 2010.
- It then hit 32 million in 2012.
- Another 50 million was added taking it up to 82 million users in August 2013
- And finally 100 million users as on March 2013.
On a wider scale the total number of users in Asia on Facebook is 339 million and 100 million of those come from India.
Majority of these numbers are riding on the popular use of Mobile devices in the country to access Facebook; perhaps one of the major driving forces that may take India ahead of US who currently stands at 183 million users.
As per the research firm IDC, “India’s smartphone sales grew to over 44 million in 2013, lifted by strong sales of modestly priced phones made by local firms such as Micromax, Karbonn etc.”
A clear indication to the guys over at Facebook, that this is a medium that will serve them as a cash cow in the present day.
“India has 16,481 million Internet subscribers, with more than half logging in from their mobile phones”, the telecoms regulator said last year. At present over 80% of Facebook is accessed via mobile.
In the light of this Facebook launched the “Facebook for Every Phone” app, that replicated the interface for Facebook on the phone to give users a Facebook-y feel.
Another initiative was “internet.org”; a partnership with six mobile technology companies to provide affordable Internet access to unconnected areas at present.
Facebook is also closely connected with telecom companies in India to increase the adoption of data among users.
So evidently a lot is going on to penetrate the sizable resources of the untapped Indian market
Javier Olivan said to the Economic Times India “much of the challenge of going
from 1 million to 10 million in India
was about optimizing the product for users. For example, removing the condition that a user needed to have an email ID of an American college to access Facebook.
From 10 million to 100 million,
it was about improving experience on low-end devices and offering it in languages other than English.
“For 1 billion,
we need easy connectivity, the biggest challenge of our generation,” he says.
So that’s the growth for Facebook in India. The path looks pretty clear ahead. What’s your take on Facebook reaching the next big milestone? Or do you think the opposite will happen with Facebook’s popularity dwindling?