Facebook Inc is making very sincere efforts to sell ads in India, and lure skeptical advertisers. It is offering features like free support for queries through e-mail to address issues related to advertising. So far, the numbers have been far from satisfactory, says a report from Reuters.
Facebook pay-off in India too less
India is the 2nd biggest market for Facebook, therefore, it is working hard to boost its revenue from the region. The firm informed that in the U.S. it has 193m users versus 132m in India. However, for the global expansion, India is a very important market for this US firm.
Citing Neil Shah, an analyst at Counterpoint Research, Reuters say the payoff per user from India has been too small when compared to the U.S. In India, Facebook earns 15 cents per user while in the US it earns $7 to $8 per user. The firm has not said how much revenue it generates from India, but Shah estimates it to be $15m a quarter, which is very small when compared with $350m that Google earns in India per quarter, says the report.
Google entered the Indian ad market in 2004, and Facebook entered 6 years later in 2010. Google has an advantage of early entry, and the search ads offered by it have more familiarity among the Indians than the ones offered by the social network. However, the firm claims it is seeing some signs of success lately.
Last year, a new type of advertising was introduced by Facebook especially for the Indian market called “click to missed call.” Every ad comes with a button, and by clicking a call is automatically placed to an advertiser. The user can then hang up, which means that he or she is not required to pay for it, and later they get a call from the advertiser with a pre-recorded message.
Internet.org in danger
Apart from its ad woes, the US firm is also facing opposition for its Internet.org initiative in India. Facebook is now looking at its Indian users with a hope for gaining support for its Internet.org platform. The firm is trying to gather support against the DoT panel’s report, which claims that free Internet services like Internet.org breach the principle of net neutrality.
Facebook says that free Internet access platforms like Internet.org should be allowed, and has started a public campaign to make a case before the lawmakers.