India second fastest growing market: Facebook

Growth rate of Indian users is at 162.4 percent, second only to that of Brazil.

Last Updated: Feb 05, 2012, 20:19 PM IST

New Delhi: Why is Facebook becoming more and more popular? Connectivity and accessibility are the biggest drawing cards, say users.

Facebook also finds India equally indispensable.

According to the Facebook data analyst, Inside Facebook Gold`s 2011 data, India was the third biggest Facebook market after US and Indonesia, at 34.6 million users.

And the growth rate of Indian users is at 162.4 percent, second only to that of Brazil.

The statistics show that the social networks and Facebook in particular are only going to grow in times to come.

Samir Parikh, chief psychiatrist at department of Mental Health and Behavioural Sciences, Max Healthcare, however, denied that this boom was a country specific phenomena limited to India.

"The growth of Facebook has been universal across the globe. In India, the higher growth rates come from the much recent increase in accessibility of internet," Parikh said.

"Social networking sprouts from the mankind`s intrinsic need to stay and feel connected. Mankind is all about communication," he added.

For Facebook loyalists, the two biggest draws are connectivity and easy accessibility.

IT professional and long-time Facebook user Vinesh Nagpal says the social network lets him "stay in touch with my old college friends".

On the other hand, Yogesh Kumar uses it for networking. "I use FB for networking, and yeah, it keeps me in touch with the friends too," said the Pune-based programmer.

The chance to keep tabs on childhood friends is one of the biggest draws for Rituparna Borah who hails from Assam.

"I use Facebook to connect with my friends with whom I am not in regular touch with. I also use it as a pastime," she said.

The fact that Facebook is now multilingual and available in regional Indian languages like Punjabi or Bengali, combined with the rapid increase in the numbers of Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs) and smart phones in India can only mean a bright future for Facebook in the country.

The main competition to Facebook`s dominance over Indian social networks comes from Orkut and Google Plus. But many consider Orkut outdated, while Google`s latest offering has yet to take off.

"Orkut`s interface started getting a bit too cluttered and a lot of spam in the network drove me away, although I used to be on Orkut for several years after launch of Facebook," said Raghav Tuli who accesses Facebook on his smart-phone more frequently than the computer.

IANS