Social media giant Facebook has renewed its India focus at the first edition of the Facebook Fuel For India 2020 summit. Facebook has said that the focus areas for 2021 include the focus on small business to help drive the economic recovery in the post COVID era as well as participation in the government’s efforts to push for financial inclusion for millions in India via the Unified Payments Interface (UPI), with WhatsApp playing a major role. Facebook says that the investment in Jio Platforms, earlier this year, is an important part of the push for getting more than 60 million small businesses online.
At the Facebook Fuel For India 2020 summit, Facebook says that the new Nayi Shuruaat campaign is to highlight the real stories of how small businesses moved online during the COVID pandemic and the subsequent lockdown to keep the source of income steady, and in some cases, restart the source of income. “What happens in India is important for the whole world. India's building local capabilities and tech capacity to power innovative new business models and provide the citizens access to digital financial inclusion. So, decisions that are made here shape the global discussion about how technology can drive more economic opportunity and better outcomes for people,” says Mark Zuckerberg, Founder, Chairman and CEO, Facebook.
There is focus on digital payments as well, particularly UPI. “We’re actively supporting the government’s efforts to drive economic growth through financial inclusion under the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) and bridging the digital divide on the internet. WhatsApp, through its partnerships with various financial institutions also enables a broad suite of fintech solutions like Micro-pensions, digital insurance products, and others, to empower the underserved. We have built affirmative programs to bridge the digital gender divide as well as boost rural entrepreneurship through digital skilling,” says Facebook in an official statement. Facebook offers the WhatsApp Pay payments option to users via WhatsApp, and that relies on UPI for payments and money transfers.
Facebook will also add new features to the Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp apps, and believes the rollout of 5G networks will further push the consumption of media content on these platforms. “Globally, more than 1.25 billion people visit Watch every month to discover and share videos from millions of creators and publishers and India is one of the leading markets for Watch. Our video strategy for India is truly reflective of the width of consumer tastes in the country and we will continue to invest in Movies, Music and Cricket to drive engagement and give our community what they want,” says Facebook.