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India Overtakes US to be Facebook's Largest Audience

This development comes shortly in the heels of Facebook announcing a record 2 billion active users on the platform globally.

Bodhisattva Sen Roy | News18.com@insenroy

Updated:July 14, 2017, 2:27 PM IST
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India Overtakes US to be Facebook's Largest Audience
File image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. (Image: PTI)
Thanks to the ever-increasing smartphone and internet penetration and decreasing data costs, India has overtaken the USA to register the largest number of active users on Facebook. This development comes shortly in the heels of Facebook announcing a record 2 billion active users on the platform globally.

According to a report on TheNextWeb, as of July 13th, Facebook is reporting a total “potential audience” of 241 million active users in India, compared to 240 million in the United States. In the last six months, active users in India has shot up by 27%, as opposed to 12% in the USA during the same period. And if the growth rate is any indication, India is likely to stretch this lead in the next few quarters to become Facebook’s largest market.



In spite of the encouraging numbers, as the chart below show, the penetration rate in India is hardly enviable. This, however, leaves a lot of scope for Facebook, or any other service provider to capture the market. The digital marketplace in the United States, as the comparison below shows, is either saturated or is close to, leaving service providers to look southeast (Asia).



Social media penetration in India, however, remains relatively low, with just 19 percent of the country’s total population using Facebook in the past month. In comparison, the number stands at 73 percent penetration in the United States, 42% globally. Another area of concern is India’s stark gender imbalance on Facebook. Only 24 percent of Indian women are on Facebook, as compared to 54 percent in the United States. One can only hope that as the digital ecosystem in India matures and the penetration increases, these imbalances will be gulfed.



BONUS: Facebook’s journey from Harvard University to acquiring 2 billion Global users:


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