Facebook growth taps emerging markets

Facebook growth taps emerging markets

Facebook Inc, the world's largest social network, has outlined a growth strategy that will see an additional 1 billion internet users, overwhelmingly coming from emerging markets.

"We believe the next 1 billion internet users will be reached within the next five years," Chris Cox, vice-president of Facebook Inc, said in a media roundtable video conference.

Globally, there are 3 billion internet users.

The next 1 billion internet users will come from emerging countries where people will use feature or basic phones to access 2G mobile networks.

India will represent one-third of the next 1 billion internet users, said Mr Cox.

Facebook needs to tailor its content and services to serve the specific needs of customers in each country, he said.

Kelly MacLean, head of emerging market ads at Facebook, said Facebook spent 2.5 years to develop its service and ads solution to reach emerging and high-growth markets.

Emerging markets represent a vast opportunity as they cover 85% of the world's population and 90% of the population of emerging countries aged under 30.

Emerging countries will contribute 65% to global economic growth over the next five years.

"Millions of users in emerging markets will access the internet from mobile phones for the first time," said Ms MacLean.

The e-commerce market in Southeast Asia offers 15 different payment methods, she said.

Nikila Srinivasan, product manager for emerging markets at Facebook, cited research by the International Telecommunication Union which found that 29% of the population in rural areas globally still use 2G networks and mobile phones are the primary tool to access the internet.

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