Very nice piece by Ansuya Harjani of CNBC on Facebook’s challenges in India.

As she quoted me in the article, India epitomizes the challenge facing Facebook across Asia.

The world’s biggest social network may have explosive growth in many countries, but they still have not managed to monetize it.

Facebook’s average revenue per person in Asia is just $1.79, compared to $9.51 in North America, making it a big challenge to convert user numbers into revenue. This is a topic interesting enough to create an infographic!

Other points raised in the article:

India to overtake US
By 2015 India may overtake the United States as the world’s largest Facebook nation. With roughly 120 million Internet users, India’s Internet population is forecast to grow threefold to almost 400 million users by the end of 2015 to mid-2016, according to Suhale Kapoor, Executive Vice President at analytics and market research company AbsolutData.

Mobile will be a key driver of Internet growth in India
Smartphones in India cost as little as 5,000 rupees ($92) as prices have been falling steadily over the last 3-4 years, making it more affordable for middle class consumers. “There are daily data plans priced at 10-20 rupees (18-37 cents), this will be another driver of (Facebook) adoption, especially among students,” Kapoor said.

Local languages becoming increasingly important
Last month, Facebook announced the launch of the “Facebook for Every Phone” mobile application in seven local Indian languages — Gujarati, Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada, Punjabi, Bengali and Marathi, in addition to Hindi, which became available last year.

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19 comments

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  11. ChrIs Devonshire-Ellis

    Well ok on the spend comparison between the US and Asia – but Americans are far more wealthy than their Asian counterparts. I think a more valid comparison between Facebook spends would be a PPP basis – which I suspect would considerably narrow the gap. Maybe you could provide that?

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