The growing influence of Facebook in India, it is for real

Today I was at a hotel in Bangalore waiting for a meeting scheduled to start at 10:30 am. I reached the hotel a little early and decided to check out the bookstore in that hotel. For a Saturday 10:15 am can be considered early hours! I was strolling around the bookstore and I could not take my eyes off what the store manager was browsing – a Hindi website. Nothing that unusual about anyone reading Hindi on the net. The real stuff happened later.

I tried to understand what kind of Hindi sites he usually browsed. I decided to ‘promote’ Oneindia’s Hindi channel with this ‘valuable new user’.  The first thing he asked me was “Is your Hindi channel on Facebook? I am always on Facebook and it becomes easier for me to read your channel on Facebook”. Then he pulled out his mobile to visit Oneindia Hindi to immediately like it. Of the 53 million Facebook users in India 30% of them visit Facebook ONLY from mobile.

This user reveals a lot to we publishers – the future (or the current) – mobile + Facebook + languages.

We rarely hear of Twitter amongst the internet user masses, not sure why the govt of India is so scared of Twitter in India. It hardly has a penetration when compared to Facebook. Nearly every non-techie internet user I have come across is on Facebook. Of course I don’t necessarily agree with their usage pattern of Facebook but then if they start liking Oneindia’s Facebook pages I can’t complain much.

The owner of a Pani Puri snack food joint in Bangalore 'busy' with Facebook

The owner of a Pani Puri snack food joint in Bangalore ‘busy’ with Facebook

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