Exponential growth of affordable handsets in India has helped social networking giant Facebook clock 62 million mobile phone users by June 2013 in the world's second most populous country.
The California-based firm reported a healthy growth of 5 percent in its monthly active users (MAUs) in India to 82 million as of June 30, 2013 from 78 million in June 30, 2012.
"As of June 30, 2013, 62 million people in India accessed Facebook through their mobile phones. It has 82 million MAUs in India and the firm believes that the next billion users are going to come through mobile," Facebook India Country Growth Manager Kevin D'Souza told PTI.
(Also see: Facebook has over 128 million daily active users in the US, 24 million in the UK)
Globally, mobile MAUs rose by 51 percent to 819 million as of June 30, 2013 from 543 million as of June 30, 2012, the company said while presenting its quarterly results.
"In all regions, an increasing number of our MAUs are accessing Facebook through mobile devices, with users in India, Brazil and Indonesia representing key sources of mobile growth over the second quarter of 2013 as compared to the first quarter of 2013," Facebook had said.
Mobile MAU is a user who accessed Facebook via a mobile app or via mobile-optimised versions of the website, whether on a mobile phone or tablet during the period of measurement.
"Feature phones consists of a large chunk of mobile phone users in India and with low price points these devices are becoming the first Internet connected device many people will own," D'Souza said.
Research firm IDC pegged the mobile phone market in India at about 218 million units last year, growing by 16 percent year on-year. Of this, 16.3 million units were smartphones.
According to CyberMedia Research (CMR), Indian mobile phone market is seeing a spurt in sales, growing 20.8 percent to 221.6 million handsets in 2012. Feature phones registered a sales growth of 19.9 percent to 206.4 million in 2012 from 172.2 million in year-ago period.
Irrespective of the platform Facebook's focus is towards connecting people whether it's through desktop, laptops, feature phones or smartphones, he added.
"Facebook has evolved from a 'mobile first' to 'mobile best' company as it becomes the primary reason for many to access the Internet. Our priority is to ensure that people have access to Facebook regardless of platform or device," he said.
Mobile is the perfect platform for Facebook as both were built for connecting, a constant companion that can capture and share moments anywhere, anytime, D'Souza said.
Facebook invested in building 'Facebook for Every Phone' app, which delivers Smartphone-like Facebook experience on feature phones. Over 100 million people access the website every month through the app for feature phones, aiding the firm in expanding in developing markets like India.
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