Back in 2010, Facebook started their first India operations office in Hyderabad, and the total number of user base in India was roughly around 8 million. Today, two years later, Facebook records that the Indian user base has increased to over 50 million in number.
According to latest reports, Kirthiga Reddy, director of online operations, Facebook India had confirmed to the media in an event organized by Indo-American Chamber of Commerce that, “the user numbers — eight million in 2010 and 50 million in 2012 — tell the growth story. India is one of the countries with the largest number of active users.”
This is an enormous growth for Facebook. The social networking giant is the world’s biggest social network, and is one of the most popular social media tool amongst the Indians. The new records makes India one among the other countries with such a huge number of active users.
The most fascinating thing about this statistic is that an increasing percentage of users access the social site from their mobile phones, which should be pretty convincing enough for Facebook to rethink its business model for India.
For other countries like the US, Kirthiga Reddy states that, “many started using Facebook on desktop, which was first used to get in to the portal, in case of India it was the mobile phone. Most of the 50 million Facebook users are on mobile. Realising this, we have launched Facebook (application) for every phone.”
This could probably get Facebook to bring innovative services via mobile to its Indian user base. One of the highly anticipated services was to make Facebook available in regional languages like Telugu, Kannada, Marathi, and so on.
However, Facebook’s biggest concern is about the age restriction policy, which does not allow children below 13 years of age to use the social networking site. With an increasing number of school kids joining Facebook, it has become a challenging task for the team to take strict actions, however, Kirthiga says that they are coping up with that.
Facebook is also taking up education initiatives for children and parents in order to understand how the network works and how parents can prevent their children from misusing it: “Facebook is like any other medium. When we were growing up, our parents used to tell how much time we should spend watching TV. The same applies for internet too. It is about what you do with the medium,” she said.
Yet another concern for Facebook is the Indian government. In the recent past, we had seen the government of India taking control over social networks and asking them to block certain contents from being posted on their networks. The government has provided certain protocols and requests in order to regulate the network. However, Kirthiga didn’t share the exact number of requests.
Recently, Facebook associated with FICCI in India to help local businesses benefit from the network, which could again help the networking giant get more number of users to the site.