Report: Facebook User Base Shifting Towards Asia
Facebook got its start in America, it’s run by Americans, and it’s become a major source for American cultural, political, and economic news and views. But it’s also very popular outside of the US of A; in fact, experts say that India is set to replace the United States as the country with the most Facebook members.
In a recent interview with CNBC, Gartner research analyst Shalini Verma indicated that growing investment in India’s economy coupled with the expansion of web users in the country will help it overtake the U.S. as the homeland for most Facebook users.
“India could overtake the United States in the next three years,” Verma told CNBC. “Last year, Facebook users in India doubled. Growth will be driven by mobile internet users in second- and third-tier cities.”
Looking at the numbers, it would take a major shift for that to happen. Right now, it’s estimated that Facebook has around 170 million American users, while the number of Indians “Face-stalking” friends and co-workers is only about 50 million. However, the number of Indians logging on to Facebook has increased dramatically since last year, rising 107 per cent. By comparison, Facebook’s U.S. user base only grew 15 per cent last year.
The rise of Facebook in India is directly linked to the country’s growing interest in the world wide web. Analytics and research expert Suhale Kapoor, executive vice president at AbsolutData, says India’s Internet population is expected to increase by an incredible 300 per cent in the next few years.
If that happens, India won’t just overtake the U.S. in terms of Facebook users; it will also overtake the U.S. in the number of people using the web.
Facebook appears to be readying itself for both events. “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,” the company noted in a recent statement.
“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.”