Facebook to go desi, targets rural users

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Hyderabad: Social networking major Facebook plans to focus on expanding its rural user base in the country with its Mobile-First and Mobile-Best strategy, a top company official in India said.
“With telecom carriers and device companies giving good affordable data plans to expand their rural markets,, I think we can see a lot more mom-entum in other regions like tier-2 towns...
In fact we have seen people walk up to stores and ask for Facebook and they don’t really know what internet is, but they have heard about Facebook and they want to get on to Facebook. So they try to find the data plan or end up trying out internet,” Mr Kevin D'Souza, the country growth manager of Facebook, told this correspondent.
Out of 1.11 billion monthly active users globally, Facebook is accessed on mobile by 751 million, which is over 67 per cent of the total users. In India, Facebook has 78 million monthly active users - seven of the global user base.
The company sees str-ong growth in its Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa, and Latin Amer-ican user bases, with each region set to rise by about 30 per cent or more fuelled by robust growth in mobile userbase.
Mr D’Souza said that the company has invested significantly in making Facebook the Mobile First and Mobile Best, which means that everything that’s built today at Facebook is built for mobile.
“We are partnering with telecom carriers to offer internet free of cost to access Facebook for three months, which will make people understand the social networking.” Underscoring the importance of a messenger in keeping users glued to the product, the company has developed Facebook for every phone app, which can be run even on feature phones.

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