Facebook Membership: India to Surpass US Soon

Dennis Faas's picture

There's no denying the distinctly American origins of Facebook: it was the brainchild of Harvard students and its 'trial by fire' was a monumental court case between its founders.

For some, there's nothing more American than either attending an Ivy League school or angry litigation.

That's why it's worth noting that America's Facebook membership could soon be eclipsed by the number of Facebook users in rising Asian superpower, India.

India's Facebook Membership Rapidly Accelerating

In a recent interview, leading Gartner research analyst Shalini Verma insisted that India's steady economic growth, plus its rising web presence, means that within a few years' time it will overtake the U.S. in number of Facebook users.

"India could overtake the United States in the next three years," Verma said. "Last year, Facebook users in India doubled. Growth will be driven by mobile Internet in second- and third-tier cities." (Source: cnbc.com)

Although Facebook currently has many more American members (169 million) than Indian users (51 million), the rate at which Indians are joining the site is increasing much more rapidly.

Last year, Facebook's U.S. user base increased 15 per cent; by contrast, the number of Indians logging on to the site rose 107 per cent.

What's more, more than half of Americans are already signed up with Facebook, while its penetration in India has barely scratched the surface of that extremely populous nation.

India's Internet Presence to Triple

AbsolutData executive vice president Suhale Kapoor says that the number of Indians using the Internet is expected to triple in the next few years. To him, it seems inevitable that many of those digital newcomers will establish social networking accounts on Facebook and / or Twitter.

Facebook has already expressed its recognition of the potential growth of the Asian market, and is preparing to play a substantial role in India's new digital experience.

"We continue to focus on growing our user base across all geographies, including relatively less-penetrated, large markets such as Brazil, Germany, India, Japan, Russia, and South Korea," Facebook recently noted.

"We intend to grow our user base by continuing our marketing and user acquisition efforts and enhancing our products, including mobile apps, in order to make Facebook more accessible and useful." (Source: cnet.com)

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