With only 7% penetration, Facebook has just touched the tip of the Indian masses. The potential is huge and thanks to increasing mobile penetration, it is meant to grow exponentially. This white paper on Facebook users by Aakash Srivastava, Founder Prabhavya, gives a statistical insight correlating Facebook and mobile usage in India with a view on demographics based on its use in cities. Implications on varied players have been summarized to harness the platform.
A recent report from ComScore revealed that India is now the world’s third largest internet user, after USA and China. With 7% penetration and 88 million users, Facebook data provides fairly reliable insights into Indian internet usage in general, even though there are bound to be certain age-specific and intent-specific variations. Nearly 65% of Facebook users from India access the network on mobile having a penetration of 7%.
According to TRAI, 7 out of 8 internet users across India access the internet on mobile. In this regard, Telecom service providers also come up with special promotion packs for Facebook access, and you can see the reports below that show how Facebook on Mobile is a winner in India.
- Facebook in India however, is so far a very exclusively limited urban phenomenon. 15 cities account for around 45% of the Facebook usage in India.
- Among the top 15 Indian cities on Facebook, Surat has the highest relative mobile Facebook usage at 71% while surprisingly, Hyderabad, one of India’s top IT destinations, ranks the lowest with 52% relative mobile Facebook usage.
- Mumbai and Chandigarh have the highest percentage of female Facebook users at 30% – 5% above the national average, while Surat, with 21% female Facebook users, comes in at 4% below the national average.
Smartphones or Tablets:
- When we drill down on Facebook access on Mobile we find that at the national level, the split between access through Feature Phones and Smart Devices (Smartphones and Tablets) is exactly 50%.
- Among the cities, Ahmedabad and Surat have the top two slots for relative Smart Device Users at 65% and 64% respectively while Kolkata occupies the bottom rung with 40% smart device users.
- The Feature phone and Smart Devices user groups is identical (77% Males – 23% Females) for the top 15 cities.
- The proportion of females is higher in the group using Smart Devices to access to Facebook in all cases except Lucknow and Nagpur.
- India is a huge market for Facebook as a platform. It has already expressed concerns about the lack of universal internet access in India because it adversely impacts its growth as a platform.
- Growth in mobile Facebook usage is something that Facebook itself would want to promote.
- Growth for Mobile Service Providers in India will be driven by Data rather than Voice. Getting users hooked to reasonable mobile internet speeds by lowering the entry barriers through introductory offers/promotions should be the focus for companies now.
- Given that the Indian handset market is flooded with low cost smartphone options, there is very little incentive for a user to opt for a feature phone, causing smartphone manufacturers’ profit to rise.