Facebook Inc. posted its financial earnings for the fourth quarter of 2016 on Wednesday. The total revenue generated by Facebook in this period is $8.81 billion. Out of this, $1.35 billion was only out of Asia.
The credit for this can be given to the business tycoon Mukesh Ambani and his telecom company Reliance Jio Infocomm.
At Facebook’s earnings call, CFO David Wehner said that the free data being offered in India largely contributed to the company’s growth in Asia.
“In the fourth quarter wanted to call out that we have seen an increase in third party promotional free data plans in places like India,” Wehner said.
By this, he was referring to the Reliance Jio scheme wherein the latest player in the telecom sector is giving out free data and calling services to its users till March 31, 2017.
“So that (free offer) clearly is having an impact in APAC (Asia-Pacific) and India was our strongest growth market (by user base). So that would be something that I would say was a little bit more unique this past quarter,” added Wehner.
By the end of 2016, India became the second largest user base of Facebook (only next to the US) with 165 million monthly active users.
According to a study conducted by Smartapp, the free data offer by Reliance Jio directly resulted in an increase of 467 percent in Facebook logins, making Facebook the biggest beneficiary on the Internet.
Second in line are the video apps like YouTube, Hotstar, Netflix and Amazon Prime, which have seen a collective rise of 336 percent.
For the future, Facebook would be focussing on boosting original content, videos in particular.
(Disclosure: News18.com is part of Network18 Media & Investment Limited which is owned by Reliance Industries Limited that also owns Reliance Jio)