The number of monthly active users of Facebook in India shot up 5% to 82 million in April-June period of this year. The California-based social networking giant had 78 million users in India in the January-March period.
“MAUs (monthly active users) by the end of the second quarter stood at 82 million, against 78 million at the end of January-March 2013,” Facebook India Country Growth Manager Kevin D'Souza said. The majority of active users in India accessed Facebook through mobiles, he added.
Buoyed by the surging user base in the emerging markets of India and Brazil, the social networking platform’s MAUs globally rose 21% to 1.15 billion as of June, 2013 against 955 million in the same period a year ago. “Users in India and Brazil represented key sources of growth in the second quarter of 2013, relative to the prior year,” Facebook had said earlier.
Globally, mobile MAUs rose by 51% to 819 million as of June 30, 2013 from 543 million as of June 30, 2012, the company said while presenting its quarterly results.
"Feature phones consists of a large chunk of mobile phone users in India and with low price points these devices are becoming the first Internet connected device many people will own," D'Souza said.
Research firm IDC pegged the mobile phone market in India at about 218 million units last year, growing by 16% year-on-year. Of this, 16.3 million units were smartphones.
According to CyberMedia Research (CMR), Indian mobile phone market is seeing a spurt in sales, growing 20.8% to 221.6 million handsets in 2012. Feature phones registered a sales growth of 19.9% to 206.4 million in 2012 from 172.2 million in year-ago period.
Irrespective of the platform Facebook's focus is towards connecting people whether it's through desktop, laptops, feature phones or smartphones, he added.
"Facebook has evolved from a 'mobile first' to 'mobile best' company as it becomes the primary reason for many to access the Internet. Our priority is to ensure that people have access to Facebook regardless of platform or device," he said.
D'Souza said India had been at the forefront of several growth stories for the social networking major. Last month, Facebook said about 100 million people accessed the website every month through its app for feature phones, aiding the firm in expanding in developing markets such as India.
“Today, millions of people in developing markets such as India, Indonesia and the Philippines are relying on this technology to connect with Facebook, without having to purchase a smartphone,” it had said then.
Besides, the firm has paid about $1 million in the past two years to security researchers who report bugs on its website, with India accounting for the second highest portion of the $1 million it paid.
MAUs are registered Facebook users who log in and visit the site through the website or a mobile device, or take an action to share content or activity with Facebook friends or connections via a third-party website that is integrated with Facebook in the last 30 days as of the date of measurement.
Mobile is the perfect platform for Facebook as both were built for connecting, a constant companion that can capture and share moments anywhere, anytime, D'Souza said.