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Facebook users 65M & counting in India, an 8x increase in 2 years

India now has more than 65 million people who are a member of (and are actively using) Facebook. It is also among the top five countries in terms of users for the social networking site. The data was disclosed by Kirthiga Reddy, director, online operations and head of India office at Facebook, while inaugurating the company's new office in Hyderabad, according to Livemint. As of now, the site is available in the country in around nine Indian languages.

When it started its office in India in September 2010, the company had a user base of eight million. And while it employs fewer than 4,000 people worldwide, the exact number of India employees is not available.

The company recently (in September) crossed the 1 billion monthly active users mark, out of which, more than half (600 million) are using the site from their mobile devices. Krithiga mentioned that it is the company's goal to provide a good experience to both smartphones as well as feature phones users. Pointing out the benefits of using Facebook for marketers, she further stated that a study of 63 global campaigns on the site showed that 49 per cent of the campaigns saw a return on investment (ROI) of five times.

In the recent times, the company has started focusing its energies towards countries like India primarily because the site has reached a kind of saturation in terms of growth in the developed countries like the US and the next level of growth can only come from such countries, where the number of internet users is growing at a rapid rate.

Recently, in an attempt to woo Indians to become a member of the site, Facebook has started offering free talk time worth Rs 50 to every new user who signs up on the site using a mobile phone. The company is also offering an additional Rs 50 to anyone who refers/invites a friend to join the site. Read here for more.

The company also launched its App Center for users in India (in addition to other countries), within a month of its US launch. Its other initiatives include rolling out a real-time advertising platform called Facebook Ad Exchange and a feature for users to buy and send real gifts.

(Edited by Prem Udayabhanu)

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