India has become Facebook’s second largest market as the country spurted past the 100 million user mark – powered by mobile users.
The social network passed the milestone in India on 31 March, Javier Olivan, vice president growth & analytics (pictured), told Economic Times.
And 84 million of the 100 million users in India access Facebook from their mobile devices, he said.
India is Facebook’s second largest market behind the US, where it has 182 million users, although this is an end-December 2013 figure.
Growth in India is stratospheric since Facebook reported having 8 million users in the country in mid-2010.
Some analysts have forecast that India will overtake the US this year to become Facebook’s largest market. The social network remains blocked in China.
Despite its encouraging recent performance in India, Facebook acquired Whatsapp earlier this year, partly as a means to break into emerging markets. The messaging app has 40 million users in India.
Facebook is also pushing an agenda of easier connectivity for users in markets such as India through the Internet.org initiative.
Providing affordable access for mobile users would further boost subscriber numbers.
During his keynote speech at this year’s Mobile World Congress Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook, said he wanted to prove the business model of operators in emerging markets offering basic internet, in addition to Facebook, for free.