The world’s most popular social network, Facebook has reported that in India it has witnessed a 63% rise in profits during the 2013 financial year. Facebook India reported profit after tax of about Rs 9.6 crore for the year ended March 2013, compared with Rs 5.9 crore the previous year.
The growth of Facebook has been driven by India’s booming online advertising market, while its investments in India have also grown several fold since the social networking giant entered the country. However, India the second largest market after US for Facebook, is still generating a fraction of what it generates globally.
Facebook India Online Services Pvt. Ltd reported revenues of about Rs.75.7 crore for the year ended March 2013, compared with Rs.45.2 crore in the year-ago period, according to documents posted on the corporate ministry’s website on 8 July. Facebook has not yet posted its annual report for the 2013-14 financial year. During the same period, Facebook India reported profit after tax of about Rs.9.6 crore, compared with Rs.5.9 crore the previous year.
To increase revenue shares Facebook with more than 100 million users has been working on an interesting ad model which might be ground breaking for emerging markets. Recently Facebook introduced an ad product built around the missed call feature.
Facebook stated that: “When a person sees an ad on Facebook they can place a “missed call” by clicking the ad from their mobile device. In the return call, the person receives valuable content, such as music, cricket scores or celebrity messages, alongside a brand message from the advertiser — all without using airtime or data.”
Gillette India is one of the brands who has run Asia’s first campaign targeted towards feature phones. Gillette used Facebook Ads on feature phones to drive measurable awareness of its new Vector 3 razor among its target group in India. The campaign reached a target audience of more than 60%.
Reportedly, Facebook which has a partnership with India’s largest telecom firm, Bharti Airtel Ltd is also testing the missed call ad feature. For this service, Facebook has partnered with Indian start-up ZipDial Mobile Solutions Pvt. Ltd.
One of the primary reasons of Facebook revenues not spiking in India as compared to the global counterparts is got to do with the country’s internet infrastructure. According to a latest report, Internet penetration in the country is less than 15% and social media penetration is still not in double digits. However, India is already witnessing a mobile economy and Facebook which is a mobile first company would like to benefit from it. Facebook states that out of 100 million, 84 million use Facebook via mobile.
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s recent meeting with Indian PM Narendra Modi stresses the fact that Facebook is seriously focusing on India to drive growth and revenues.