Why Facebook Has To Offer Free Talk-Time To Lure Mobile Users In India – What’s Cooking Behind The Scene ?


Let’s get this straight – Social Network titan Facebook has silently rolled out an offer for Indian mobile users. Under the campaign hood, mobile users, who opens a new account via particular URL (http://m.facebook.com/tt) using his/her mobile phone, will get talk time worth Rs 50 free. The offers is meant only for those who don’t have Facebook account till now and registers themselves only and only via their mobile phone.

Once a user signs up for Facebook account, he is liable to receive talk time worth Rs 50 in following 3 days. Definitely, Facebook has designed the campaign targeting the large student lobby from Tier- 2 and Tier – 3 cities of India where the penetration of Facebook is still quite low. Most of the students prefer to have pre-paid connectivity and Rs 50 talk time offer makes a significant value addition against a simple sign up – that too with world’s largest social network.

Does Facebook Need Any Promotion In India ?

The campaign is exclusively designed for India which is the third largest country in the list of Facebook with more than 56 million users. Brazil which is recently witnessing explosive growth in Facebook users and made a big jump in the list only to settle down at number 2 position – above than India – is quite close with respect to the number of Facebook users. Interestingly, Facebook has not rolled out any similar campaign in Brazil or any other country.

So, why India ? Have a look on few facts which could astound you till the core;

The current penetration (population) of Facebook in India is just 5.06% against 73.3% online users penetration. But, this low penetration (population) in India inherits an opportunity and room for sizable growth which is no other country could ever match.

World’s 17.84% of mobile web traffic is being originated from Asia which is the highest among all continents. And India has got significant share in that after China. Interestingly, 48.8% of Indian internet users are available on mobile and the this figure is only bound to improve in next 2 -3 years.

The evolution of Smartphone is another big reason which is making India as one of the dearest country for many companies. As the second largest mobile market ( in terms of mobile subscriptions) , India has been outclassed by most of the countries in smartphone adoption rate. With just 2.72%, India Smartphone industry is among the worst along China. However, with the emergence of local handset makers and focused approach by Samsung, the scenario is expected to change by 2015. Feature phone is just being outdated and local players, like Micromax and Karboon, have made Smartphone available at very competitive price.

Therefore the transforming ecosystem of Internet and Smartphone is developing a perfect blend best suited for Mobile internet and Mobile Apps usage. And, Facebook India has, apparently, tapped it well in time – especially when India has emerged as the biggest country over – Facebook arch rival – Google+.

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