Indian Users Not Active Enough: Facebook’s Dilemma In India

Though Facebook is gaining rapid entry into Indians’ lives, it daily usage is still in lowly numbers.

As the IPO filling before the US Securities and Exchange Commission continues to be scrutinized, new information will continue to trickle down. We had recently reported how Facebook still considers the ageing Orkut to be its adversary. In Orkut’s case Facebook had validated it saying the locally active Social Networking sites were eating into its User base. Without these, Facebook would have garnered some more users. Whereas in this case, Facebook is worried that owing to the 2G scam & 3G fiasco, mobile internet is still not wide-spread as it should have been. The lack of easily accessible high speed internet has resulted in people being tethered to a Physical Desktop to access internet & eventually FaceBook. Thus, it may boast of high number of Monthly Active Users, but its Daily Active Users are very low.

What’s the difference?

Daily Active User or a DAU is defined as “A registered user who logged in and visited Facebook through the website or a mobile device, or shared content with his or her Facebook friends or connections though a third-party website that is integrated with Facebook, on a given day”. In simple terms, a user who logs on to Facebook at least once per day & creates / shares some content or merely interacts with friends and colleagues.

On the other hand Monthly Active Users or MAU’s are those who log on at least once per month. This number for Facebook is very high at 845 Million! However, when it comes to DAUs it drops to half at 483 million on average for December 2011.

Though MAUs have increased 39 per cent over 12 months & DAUs 48 per cent, the huge gap between them is worrying Facebook.

According to Facebook, this phenomenon is common in the developing countries like India, Brazil, Germany, India, Russia, Korea etc. & this is where it wants to focus reveals the filing, “We continue to focus on growing our user base across all geographies, including relatively less-penetrated, large markets such as Brazil, Germany, India, Japan, Russia, and South Korea. We intend to grow our user base by continuing our marketing and user acquisition efforts and enhancing our products, including mobile apps, in order to make Facebook more accessible and useful

Where is Facebook going wrong?

Well, according to Facebook, it is not the one to blame. The poor access to internet especially on the move is the major reason. This becomes chronic in developing countries where Mobile infrastructure is poor. Let’s consider India for example. With over 900 Million GSM users, how many have access to high-speed Internet? While companies are focusing on Value Added Services, they keep forgetting about the basic need of reliable connectivity through internet is also to be taken into serious consideration.

Despite all this Facebook is growing. Further, it is still at the top with Advertisers. However, if countries like India, do not support Indians with reliable high speed internet, Facebook could be an indirect sufferer!


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