IIPM Admission

Saturday, August 06, 2011

India: Facebook's 2nd biggest market

IIPM Mumbai Campus

In a two-room shanty with no running water in northern Mumbai, Darshana Verma makes tea on a small stove. On a bench nearby, her 18-year-old son, Vishal, messages Facebook friends on the keypad of his Nokia smartphone.

"This Facebookis the Internet age," said the 36-year-old domestic helper, who spent more than half her $300 monthly income on Samsung Electronics Co and Nokia Oyj mobile phones for her children. "Facebook is there, all these things happen there now -- they make friends, maybe they can even find jobs there."

Cheaper Internet-ready phones may make India Facebook Inc's biggest market after the US next year with more than 50 million users, according to Nielsen Co. As Google Inc's rival social network also gains in popularity, companies including Pepsi Co are boosting Internet advertising to reach the 352 million children under age 15 who are coming online.

"There's a mob out there," said Tarun Abhichandani, group business director at IMRB International, part of WPP Group, the world's biggest ad agency. "India has a young demographic, and it's social networking that brings them online."

The number of active accounts in India jumped 85 per cent to 32 million this year, according to socialbakers.com, which tracks user data at the Palo Alto, California-based company. That's the world's third-biggest behind the 153 million in the US and 39.2 million in Indonesia.

Mobile handset sales in the world's second-fastest growing major economy will surpass 206 million units annually in 2014 from 175.9 million last year, Gartner Inc forecasts.

Liking MTV

Pepsi and Viacom Inc's MTV have been quick to tap the popularity of Facebook in the South Asian nation through promotions and contests. Their Indian pages have garnered 1.4 million and 2.9 million "likes," respectively.

"Indians want brands to communicate with them using social media," said a Nielsen report, adding that 60 per cent of Indian social-media users are "open" to being approached by brands.

Online advertising in India rose 26 per cent to $223 million in the year ended March, according to IMRB. Advertising on social networking sites grew as much as 65 per cent from the year before.

"The shift to online advertising is just starting to happen," Abhichandani said. "The number of Internet users here is on the rise and is going to keep rising for some time. Advertisers are realizing that."

Facebook opened an office in Hyderabad in southern India in September to serve users, advertisers and developers in the country and around the world, spokeswoman Kumiko Hidaka wrote in an e-mail. The company is trying to improve service by working with mobile partners and "building relationships with India's strong network of developers and entrepreneurs," she said.

China block

Facebook is blocked in China, the world's most-populous nation. The social-networking company has held talks with potential partners about how to gain a foothold in the country, a person familiar with the matter told Bloomberg in April.

China, the world's largest Internet market with more than 450 million Web users, bans pornography, gambling and content critical of the ruling Communist Party.

"Facebook has chosen to focus on open markets, rather than markets like China where there's censorship and control," said Foong King Yew, vice president of research at Gartner in Singapore. "India's the biggest of those. It's rapidly growing. It's an untapped market."

A mobile phone allows 22-year-old student Rachel Thomas to log on when she's at school.

"Facebook is the first thing I do each day," said Thomas, who is studying for a master's degree at the Delhi School of Social Work and counts about 1,000 friends on the social- networking site. "I don't know anybody who's not on Facebook. My mom's on Facebook. My whole class is on Facebook."

Bollywood tweets

Twitter Inc is also gaining in India, helped by iconic users like Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan, business tycoon Anand Mahindra and former minister Shashi Tharoor. Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. (TCS), India's largest software exporter, posts its earnings in 140-character messages on the micro-blogging website.

LinkedIn Corp has 10 million members in India, its second- largest market after the US, according to the Mountain View, California-based company's website.

Facebook faces new competition from Google+, which started June 29. The service had 6.44 million visitors in the US through July 24 and 3.62 million in India, not including mobile usage, said Andrew Lipsman, ComScore Inc's vice president for industry analysis.

Google is testing a mobile application in the US and India that allows users to send status updates via SMS without an Internet connection. Most phone users in India don't have Internet browsing. Facebook has a similar service in India.

'Facebook button'

Research In Motion Ltd said its growth in emerging markets such as India and Indonesia has largely been driven by social networking applications like Facebook for BlackBerry 2.0. Rival Huawei Technologies Co sells phones with a "Facebook button."

"You press it once and all your social networks are integrated in one -- you don't have to log in everywhere," said Paul Scanlan, vice president of solution and marketing for the South Pacific region at Huawei. "If a phone doesn't have a Facebook button, you're not going to sell 10 million handsets."

A big draw for many Indians is the falling cost. Phones with Internet browsing capability sell for as little as $23. For Verma, who never learned to use a computer and saved for 10 months to buy her elder daughter's phone, that gives her children an opportunity she didn't have.

"What I don't know about -- Facebook, Internet -- they need to know about," she said. "It is worth the expense."


20 comments:

Sunil Bhardwaj said...

You probably hear the term "smartphone" tossed around a lot. But if you've ever wondered exactly what a smartphone is, well, you're not alone. How is a smartphone different than a cell phone, and what makes it so smart?

In a nutshell, a smartphone is a device that lets you make telephone calls, but also adds in features that you might find on a personal digital assistant or a computer--such as the ability to send and receive e-mail and edit Office documents

harvinder said...

If you like speed, you'll love Samsung's Droid Charge. This smartphone takes full advantage of Verizon's speedy 4G LTE network, while also offering a top-notch camera and a big, bright Super AMOLED touch screen.

subhash said...

If you like speed, you'll love Samsung's Droid Charge. This smartphone takes full advantage of Verizon's speedy 4G LTE network, while also offering a top-notch camera and a big, bright Super AMOLED touch screen.

Mukesh said...

Samsung Electronics Co and Nokia best selling in india

vijaykumar said...

facebook is a good site in the world
we connecting the people

mohit said...

I like this article. its based on new technology, and its show popularity of social networking.

ANUP KUMAR said...

I know that games cant be sent from a phone to an other because they are something like protected files,because they are a `patch` to the phones operating

Mukesh said...

"I don't know anybody who's not on Facebook. My mom's on Facebook. My whole class is on Facebook." Bollywood tweets Twitter Inc is also gaining in India, helped by iconic users like Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan.

suri said...

I’ve read the articles that describe a vibrant and growing social network, he biggest use of the site appears to be dating…as you can see from this very funny independent movie that I found on FaceBook. It’s long, but I highly recommend it if you are trying to get a feel for the service.

pramod singh kandasi said...

Facebook is the biggest market after the US next year with more than 50 million users, according to Nielsen Co. As Google Inc's rival social network also gains in popularity, companies including Pepsi Co are boosting Internet advertising to reach the 352 million children under age 15 who are coming online.

vijaykumar said...

recently, a fan of angelina mtv tried reaching out to her and got a response on twitter.

pramod singh kandasi said...

India now has over 28 million Facebook users and over 1/3rd of all Internet users are on Facebook. India also has the 5th largest Facebook user base in the world and is expected to become 2nd largest Facebook user base by end of 2012. These numbers & growth rate is humongous considering that Facebook had very little India market share just 3 years back.

pramod singh kandasi said...

Tata Docomo has leveraged Facebook to the maximum – Their marketing & advertising campaigns have always been social and so they have done very well on Facebook as well as twitter. With over 2.5 million fans, Tata Docomo is the Top Indian brand on Facebook, followed by ever popular Vodafone Zoozoos who boast about 2.1 million fans.

pramod singh kandasi said...

India now has over 28 million Facebook users and over 1/3rd of all Internet users are on Facebook. India also has the 5th largest Facebook user base in the world and is expected to become 2nd largest Facebook userbase by end of 2012. These numbers & growth rate is humongous considering that Facebook had very little India market share just 3 years back.

pramod singh kandasi said...

According to market research company Nielsen’s survey data show that, thanks to the popularity of low-cost Internet phone in India next year will be the world’s second largest after the U.S. market, Facebook, Facebook users will for the first time more than 50 million.

suri said...

India Facebook's biggest market after the US next year with ~50M users, according to Nielsen. The number of active accounts in India jumped 85% to 32M this year, according to socialbakers.com, which tracks user data. That's the world's third-biggest behind the 153M in the US and 39.2M in Indonesia. Mobile handset sales will surpass 206M units annually in 2014 from 175.9M last year. Online advertising in India rose 26% to $223M in the year ended March, according to IMRB. Advertising on social networks grew as much as 65% from the year before. Facebook faces new competition from Google+, which started June 29. The service had 6.44M visitors in the US through July 24 and 3.62M in India, not including mobile usage, said Andrew Lipsman, ComScore's VP for industry analysis.

suri said...

According to the market research firm Nielsen survey data showed that, thanks to the Internet, the popularity of cell phone cheap India next year will be a second only to the United States as the world's second-largest Facebook users, Facebook will be the first time the market more than 50 million.

Sunil Bhardwaj said...

The episode focuses on the life of a vicious club singer Anjali who is the sole breadwinner of her family. ... He agrees but their cheerful, carefree attitude irks him. .... He vows to end their friendship. The doctor tells him that Bugs is suffering

Sunil Bhardwaj said...

What Heeraman sees at the fair| disturbs him no end. ... Anjali (Nayana Tara) works for a mobile services company. ... But this irks Surya Prakash who tried to thrash both Rao and Sai black and blue. ..... Basu Bhattacharya's debut directorial film tells the story of Heeraman (Raj Kapoor) a bullock cart driver and ...

Sunil Bhardwaj said...

What Heeraman sees at the fair| disturbs him no end. ... Anjali (Nayana Tara) works for a mobile services company. ... But this irks Surya Prakash who tried to thrash both Rao and Sai black and blue. ..... Basu Bhattacharya's debut directorial film tells the story of Heeraman (Raj Kapoor) a bullock cart driver and ...