In a move to grow its Indian user base even further, Facebook has teamed up with telcos and mobile handset manufacturers. The social network is trying to make itself available for users in India at affordable rates and has hence joined hands with Indian telecom carriers. Furthermore, the company is also collaborating with mobile handset manufacturers to pre-load its mobile application in low-end feature phones along with smartphones.
“If you look at the number of people with mobile phones in India, the numbers are really huge, whereas Facebook has only 71 million monthly active users in India. So, we have a huge opportunity ahead of us and we are quite excited about it”, said Kevin D’Souza, country growth manager of Facebook India.
This is not the first time Facebook has attempted to garner large number of users from India. Last month it has partnered with Airtel and Reliance in India to offer discounted data plans to access its Facebook Messenger. Also, some other mobile service providers are offering data plans wherein they are not charging for Facebook browsing for certain limits. Such plans have attracted a handsome number of first time internet users.
The company is also working with mobile device and component manufacturers to introduce in-built Facebook mobile applications. It has partnered with MediaTek, a Taiwanese company which also manufactures hardware for low-end phones, to offer the Facebook mobile app on low-end phones, added D’Souza. Facebook plans to launch a similar model in Africa after testing such applications in India.
With 71 million monthly active users, Facebook definitely sees a strong market in India and has hence come up with these initiatives. India user base grew by a staggering 81 percent during December 2011 to December 2012. The more than one billion user social network is also one of the most trusted internet brands in India.