“Social media usage continues to grow around the world, with global penetration rates now in excess of 30%. Facebook continues to dominate the global landscape, accounting for almost 1.5 billion users. The world’s favourite social platform shows little sign of losing its grip either, with 180 million new users joining the community over the past 12 months, up 13.7% year-on-year.
To put that in perspective, Facebook is still adding around half a million new users every day, or almost 6 new users every second,” informed Simon Kemp on We Are Social blog at the release of Global Digital Statshot, August 2015.
Simon is out with another blog post that details the finding of Digital, Social and Mobile in India in August, 2015. He writes that while Internet users are up by 44% since the last report in July 2014, social media still is being used by just 10% of the country’s population.
“The number of active users is increasing at a rate of roughly one every second, but even at that rate, it will take another 16 years before half the country’s population is using social media. We suspect this will change quite considerably in the coming months though, largely due to a shift in behaviour related to mobile usage.”
Listed below are the four major findings on social media growth in India:
1. 10% of total population are active on social media
Social media is growing but the rate at which it is growing isn’t big news. However mobile can make the difference at a time when it’s not only dominating Internet traffic in the country but also driving commerce in the country. 41% of total eCommerce sales was driven by mobile in 2014, according to the influential annual assessment of the Internet economy by Mary Meeker.
2. Facebook and Whatsapp continue to dominate
Facebook, India’s most popular social network has last reported to have more than 125 million monthly active users, out of which 114 million are mobile. While Facebook and WhatsApp keep dominating the space but the growth of Google+ is interesting, at a time when it is dismantling itself.
3. Facebook most popular between the age group of 20-29
Men dominate the Facebook horizon. While Facebook remains the most popular social network in the 20-29 age bracket, teens are really not that keen on the network.
Sparse participation of women in the social media space should be a concern for corporates and the governments. In fact we have seen initiatives from companies like Google and the present government that are encouraging more women to join the Internet. Initiatives like Google’s #TogetherOnline that is aimed to grow digital literacy among women in the country are trying to make a difference. It also found support in corporate partners: Snapdeal, Axis Bank, HUL and GSK.
4. Smartphones dominate the Facebook usage
Globally mobile is driving Facebook’s growth and revenues. During the Q2 2015 revenue call Facebook revealed that mobile ad revenue was 76 percent of total ad revenue, which was up from 62 percent a year ago. In addition to this mobile is driving the user growth of the network – active users were 1.31 billion, up 23 percent. Daily mobile users were 844 million, a 29 percent increase, and mobile-only monthly users were 655 million. Total monthly active users were just under 1.5 billion, which was up 13 percent year over year.
In India, mobile has been charging the growth of Facebook. More than 89 million of users access Facebook via smartphone followed by feature phone which stands at 17 million.
India today is the biggest market for Facebook after US but the social network still has a revenue problem. Facebook earns 15 cents per user in India every quarter, compared to the $7 to $8 it makes on each U.S. user.
Facebook is well aware of the challenges of an emerging market where only 10% are on social media. Over time it has introduced innovative ideas to win confidence of marketers in the region but the social networking giant will have to invest in patience for a few more years before it starts seeing revenues from its social network and messaging apps.