Facebook says India user growth faster than rest of the world

Adam Mosseri of Facebook says in terms of daily active users, India grew 22% year on year compared with 17% globally


Adam Mosseri, vice-president for product management at Facebook. Photo: Reuters
Adam Mosseri, vice-president for product management at Facebook. Photo: Reuters

New Delhi: Social networking site Facebook is growing faster in India than the rest of the world, a top company executive said. In terms of daily active users, India grew 22% year on year compared with 17% globally, including its home market, the US.

“We are growing faster in India compared to the average of the rest of the world. Our primary focus right now is for the next billion people to come online and India is obviously a huge part of that,” said Adam Mosseri, vice president, product management at Facebook’s new office in Gurgaon.

Mosseri is in India to educate publishers, advertisers and technology firms about how the Facebook News Feed functions and to learn more about India, a high growth market for the company. The News Feed is a personalised stream of stories from a user’s network of friends and publishers.

At present, Facebook has 155 million monthly active users, 77 million daily active users, 147 million mobile monthly active users and 73 million mobile daily active users in India.

Mosseri also introduced New Architecture, a performance tool to improve the overall News Feed experience and deliver relevant stories in a seamless manner. All these features will work on Android phones that work on 2G connections in India. The tool is being tested in a phased manner in India from Thursday.

Earlier this week, Mosseri visited Gaffar market, a treasure trove for knock-offs in New Delhi. “You really need to be here on the ground to understand what’s happening, to understand user concerns and publisher concerns, that’s why we keep sending executives on research trips,” added Mosseri who joined Facebook in 2008.

In a slowing US ad market, Facebook is looking for the next frontier of growth. And nothing looks as good as India’s under-penetrated market, in terms of users, advertising and Internet access.

Discussing the slowdown in Facebook user growth in the US compared to India, Mosseri, based out of California, explained the digital differences between the two key markets.

“The percentage of people who are on the internet in the US is much higher than in India. So, there is room for lots of first-time users to come online. Two, we were present in the US much earlier than we were present in India. Roughly 2/3rds of the US is on Facebook and in India, we are not sure if 2/3rd of the population is even online,” he added.

Facebook is available in 12 Indian languages, at present.

Quiz Mosseri on what gives him sleepless nights as far as the India mandate is concerned, and he’s quick to answer: “There is a lot more work to do to ensure the product does well, there’s performance, language or the size of the app or offering video. There’s so much potential and so much work to do I worry about our ability to do enough of it fast enough,” he said.

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