Guest Article: Kirthiga Reddy: 2015 is a Mobile World and India is leading the way

By Kirthiga Reddy , Facebook, New Delhi | In Digital | December 23, 2014
The managing director of Facebook India pens her thoughts on why India will be the primary region of growth in 2015.

An indication of how fast the internet space in India is growing can be seen from our latest quarterly numbers. In fact, India saw 30 per cent increase in monthly active users (MAU) from 87 million MAU in Q3 2013 to 112 million MAU in Q3 2014.

Kirthiga Reddy

Over the last year, we've invested in programs to help educate agencies and businesses on how they can leverage our platform to drive better returns. We have seen how brands are now able to run campaigns more efficiently and effectively on our platform and be able to reach targeted audience groups. Owning to India's regional diversity, a large chunk of next billion users are more likely to come from here. And, for many people, their first touch point of the internet is their Facebook experience and it's most likely to be on the mobile phone.

Mobile engagement is deepening

The mobile phone has surpassed all conventional socio-economic barriers in India and is truly an omnipresent phenomena across geographies. For example, in India specifically, people are on the mobile all day, every moment. India is home to one of the largest mobile phone markets worldwide with almost 88 per cent of people in India that visit Facebook every month, doing so on mobile. Not only are people in India witnessing a shift from feature to smartphones but they are also engaging heavily with their device.

According to e-marketer, Internet users in India will grow by more than 50 per cent in the next four years vs TV viewership, which is projected to grow by only 12 per cent. And the average person checks their mobile device 100 times a day and they check Facebook 14 times day (IDC "Always Connected" report). This makes mobile a crucially important channel for business and brands to connect with people, especially in the Indian context.

Multi-screening options

Youth today use an average of two-three devices and often use multiple screens in the evening, especially while watching TV. More than three-quarters of these cohort always or mostly use their mobile phone while watching TV, according to 'Coming of Age on Screens' Facebook study. This means that TV is not able to provide the reach it once was, making it crucial to reach people on their devices even during primetime.

This actually makes it an exciting time to be a marketer. There's a fun challenge in figuring out how a brand tells a story in such a way that it works across different devices. The story has to be told in a way that is not confusing so that it doesn't feel like you're getting the same story over and over again.

The video explosion

From 2012 to 2014, video consumption on mobile and tablet has grown by 532 per cent (eMarketer, July 2014). Two-thirds of video views on Facebook are happening on mobile. Since June this year, there has been an average of more than 1 billion views on Facebook every day and 76 per cent of people who watch video online say Facebook is their top source for video discovery.

This fundamental shift in the way people consume video content means there is a greater opportunity than ever for marketers to leverage a rich storytelling format in order to target people across devices and deepen engagement with them.

Measurable real business outcomes

For Facebook, measurement effectiveness is an important priority, and our focus for 2015 is on advertisers getting real business results and measurement metrics on their campaigns on Facebook.

Take, for instance, the Kissanpur campaign by Hindustan Unilever. It was a digital-only launch of a four-minute video targeted at modern parents. Facebook helped drive awareness by reaching over 22 million people in a matter of just 24 hours.

In addition to being where people spend their time, Facebook is the world's largest network of real people. Facebook knows what individual people and their friends like on Facebook and we know we have real people across the devices. This enables us to show relevant ads, resulting in actual business results for marketers.

(The author is managing director of Facebook in India)

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