Facebook to Cross 100 million users in India : Android is a Clear Winner; 84% Access Via Smartphones

There are over 100 million Facebook users in India. The company has also been eating into Google’s market.

Facebook is set to cross 100 million users in India. It currently has 98 million users in the country, its largest user base after the United States.

As we’d written earlier, in India, Facebook is already proving to be a threat to Google (especially from advertising dollars perspective). The company has been stealing away Google’s wallet share. An estimate by Forrester Research pegs Facebook’s revenues from India at $50-$60 mn.

However, if you look at Facebook data closely, Android is really working well for Google. Take a look:

Category Number of people
Mobile Device Owners (All) 82,000,000
Feature Phone Owners 30,000,000
Smart Phone/ Tablet Owners (All) 52,000,000
Android Owners 46,000,000
iOS owners 4,000,000

– Android is a clear winner.

– iOS owners are a very small percentage and

– a large number of users are still on feature phones.

Facebook India Demographics/Categories

Some of the broader categories include:

Category Number of people
Parents 2,200,000
Photography 1,020,000
Travelers 12,000,000
Small Business Owners 1,340,000

On Mobile, which is being seen as the future of advertising, emarketer estimates that Facebook has a 21.7% market share while Google claims 46.8% market share worldwide. The total mobile ad revenue is pegged at $31.45 bn in 2014.

India’s mobile advertising market is still very small. However, smartphone growth in India has been phenomenal. Out of 98 million users, over 84 million use Facebook from a mobile device in India.


Facebook’s Edge Over Others

What is amazing with Facebook is the depth of audience targeting it gives advertisers, making Facebook ads effective compared to vanilla ads that you see on the Internet.

Besides broad categories like age, gender, language, it offers demographic targeting such as relationship status, education, workplaces which are extremely useful for advertisers.

In categories like events, it can give you opportunities to target with so much precision that it isn’t funny. For instance, an advertiser can target newlyweds  or someone who has a birthday coming up in a weeks time. One can target based on family status and other categories such as gamers and people who have a keen interest in politics.

The travel category is one of the most elaborate ones. It lets you choose from people who intend to travel and even the destination to which they are planning their trip.

Facebook Targeting

While Google still rules search, Faceook is quickly becoming a favorite with advertisers. Large brands like HUL have earmarked a portion of their digital advertising spend for Facebook campaigns, which was practically unheard of 5 years ago.

India has been a testbed for Facebook to try out some of its (nasty) campaigns (including the talktime program) and ofcourse, partnership with telecom operators has added to the registration (30% of new Facebook registration comes from mobile!).
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