BENGALURU : India is a very important market for Facebook Inc. and it now works directly with the company’s headquarters in California, Ajit Mohan, vice president and managing director India, Facebook, said at the ongoing Global Technology Summit in Bengaluru.

“India is at the top of the stack for Facebook. The appetite to invest in India is huge," Mohan said.

While Facebook doesn’t share India-specific statistics, its daily active users reached 1.62 billion globally, up 9% compared to last year, led by growth in India, Indonesia, and the Philippines, Facebook’s chief financial officer David Wehner had said during the third quarter investor call. “This represents approximately 66% of the 2.45 billion monthly active users in September."

Mohan on Thursday said Facebook has made “mistakes" in the past referring to the Cambridge Analytica case wherein the data analysis firm had reportedly harvested private information from more than 50 million Facebook users without permission.

Facebook has since been the target of probes by various governments for its data privacy policies. “We are keen to think through what the new rules of the internet should be. The next stage of growth of innovation will benefit from the new internet rules and regulations," Mohan said. “Facebook is not the same as it was two years ago…our sincerity to change is real."

For the third quarter-ended September, Facebook’s total revenues were up 31% annually in constant currency at $17.7 billion. “Revenue from India is today a small percentage of our global revenues but India is extremely important for Facebook," Mohan said.

Even in terms of regional advertising revenue growth, APAC and “rest of world" were strongest for Facebook and grew 35% and 34%, respectively. In comparison, North America and Europe grew 27% and 24%, respectively during the third quarter.

It is in the interest of a country like India to have internet rules in place which simultaneously allow the ecosystem of data and knowledge to move freely, Mohan said. Referring to Facebook’s presence across countries with different regulations, he said, “There should be an alignment between the different regulatory regimes."

My Reads Logout