As we aim to connect the next billion people on mobile platforms globally, 70 percent of them will come from Asia and nearly 337 million from India alone, a top Facebook executive said in Gurgaon on Wednesday, adding that mobility is the future which is driving economic growth in the country.
As of the third quarter this year, Facebook reported 166 million monthly active users, 159 million mobile active users, 85 million daily active users, and 81 million mobile daily active users in India.
“For me, five trends – geographic shift in mobile user growth, Internet is mobile and mobile is Internet, connected device explosion, platform economy and moving to a network level from the mobile ecosystem – are driving the change in the country,” Umang Bedi, Managing Director, Facebook India and South Asia, told reporters here.
India holds tremendous potential for Facebook and is “the most critical and strategic market” for the company, Bedi said, adding that the country is also the top market for developers for building with Facebook outside the US.
According to a Deloitte report last year, Facebook contributes $4 billion (roughly Rs. 27,439 crores) and 335,000 jobs to India through its marketing, platform and connectivity efforts.
Facebook is available in 12 Indian languages and over 80 percent of top-grossing apps in India are integrated with the social networking platform, according to Bedi.
“The biggest challenge in making internet relevant locally in Asia including India is local content, local languages and local awareness so we have to move beyond English to make the content locally relevant to consumers,” Bedi pointed out.
Facebook revealed a three-fold business strategy for India. The first is aligned with the mission of the company which is to help people connect. The second is to drive deep engagement which means build a process that is relevant and the third is to be absolutely valuable to its partners.
“Our vision for business in India is to be loved and become a trusted brand, to be deeply integrated into the fabric and to provide the experiences which are relevant and valuable to all people who are on our platform, including partners,” Bedi said.
Facebook which has 1.71 billion users globally has a strategic partnership with India’s top 100 advertisers.
There are over two million small and medium businesses (SMB) pages on Facebook in India and more than 30 percent of active SMB pages on Facebook are owned by women entrepreneurs.
Forty one percent of people on Facebook are connected to at least one business in a foreign country.
“All I could say is that we have just started and I am very clear about the fact that everything that Facebook will do in the next few years is about moving real business outcomes for our brands and advertisers – be it large or small,” Bedi added.
Facebook last week announced that India is now the top market for its mobile messaging platform WhatsApp with 160 million monthly active users.
In India, over 80 million people use Facebook’s Groups feature each month and the country is one of the top five adopters of Workplace platform.