Facebook recently announced that it has around 1.65 billion active users globally, and India continues to be its second-biggest market. In an interview with Businessline, Dan Neary, Facebook’s vice president of Asia Pacific has revealed that there are nearly 150 million monthly active users in the country. Neary also says that 95 percent of these users access the social network on their mobiles. At last count, more than 70 million users in India accessed Facebook on a daily basis. Also Read - Happy Friendship Day 2021: How to send Friendship Day wishes Stickers on WhatsAppAlso Read - Facebook is finally bringing 'smart glasses' in collaboration with Ray-Ban
Facebook has opened its new office in Mumbai, the company’s fourth office in India, after setting up offices in Delhi, Hyderabad and Bengaluru. It’s no secret that India is an important market for Facebook as the next billion internet users are expected from the country. Facebook’s revenues in the country too have continued to rise, with ad revenues in the Asia Pacific region growing at over 62 percent. Also Read - Google, Facebook make vaccination mandatory for employees returning to office
It’s not just the user base, but Facebook’s developer base too has continued to grow in India. In fact, the company says India represents the second-biggest developer base outside the US. Towards the end of last year, Facebook is said to have offered up to $20 million in benefits to its developers in India.
It’s however not all smooth sailing for Facebook in India. Apart from the connectivity issues, Facebook has also had to contend with regulatory hurdles in the country. While 4G adoption is growing, the infrastructure across the country is still way below global standards. With this in mind, Facebook has created what it calls the ’emerging market team’. As the name suggests, this team develops features with countries like India in mind. A report last year revealed how the team had to switch to Edge on certain days of the week to experience what it feels like to use Facebook on slow connections.
As for the regulatory hurdles, Facebook had to face a PR nightmare when its Free Basics initiative was banned in India. All the money spent on marketing, and CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s visit to the country was not enough to convince the regulatory authorities that Free Basics was not against the principles of net neutrality.
One of the fall outs of Free Basics was Facebook India managing director Kirthiga Reddy stepping down earlier this year. Neary however rubbishes these claims saying Reddy’s move was in no way connected to Free Basics. Instead the only reason was because she wanted to relocate to the US.