In Asia, Forecast/Sales, News

Facebook India Users Top 100 Million

FB India Map-SAPRIL 9, 2014 • On March 31 Facebook India reached 100 million active users in the country, only the second market after the United States where that milestone has been reached. Last June the social network had 82 million active users within India. Facebook vice president of growth & analytics Javier Olivan made the disclosure in an interview with the Indian financial daily The Economic Times. Olivan also said that 84% current active users in the country access Facebook via their mobile phones. Having crossed the 100 million threshold Olivan said the social network’s next Indian goal is 1 billion active users – a target he said could only be reached via greater connectivity, affordability and relevance. As of December 31, Facebook had 182 million active users in the U.S., 83 million in Brazil, 65 million in Indonesia and 49 million in Mexico.

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Impact: Facebook’s extreme growth trajectory in India is being driven by smartphone penetration. According to a Nielsen India report from September of last year, the number of smartphone users there exploded 89% to 51 million from 27 million in 2012. What’s more, the demographic group with the largest growth during that period was youth between 16 and 18 years old, which saw it percentage of smartphone users go from 5% to 22%. That kind of data goes a long way in explaining Facebook’s meteoric rise since 2010 when the company opened its first office in Hyderabad and counted 8 million users. As in China, smartphone prices are falling swiftly in India. Consumers there have plenty of low cost devices manufactured at home, and others imported from China in the Rs 5,000 ($85) to 6,000 ($100) range. Smartphones may only be 17% of the total mobile phone user base in urban India according to Nielsen, but the rate of adoption is climbing fast. Kids being kids, many of those new Facebook users may move onto other social media long before the social network can get close to 1 billion active users. Still, these trends bode well across the board for the games industry whether you are talking mobile, console or computer content. Last year the Internet and Mobile Association of India estimated there were 31.7 million online gamers, of which 14.6 million of those played games on their mobile devices. Not a huge number yet, but those numbers are going to go up dramatically.

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