Facebook Mobile hits 100 million – thanks to Asia?
Interesting news today out of Facebook, which has revealed its mobile user base has jumped to an astonishing 100 million. This marks huge growth – it was only in September that the company had 65 million users, and eight months before that (ie a year ago) it had just 20 million.
Unfortunately, the stats don’t break down where in the world these new users are, but I’d lay money on a good proportion of the extra 80 million mobile users it has added being in Asia. 2009 was a phenomenal year for FB in Southeast Asia. At the beginning of the year it trailed longtime leader Friendster in most markets there, by the end it was leading in most markets.
Facebook’s user base jumped 78 per cent across Asia between January to September, according to comScore data. See this chart (thanks to Turner’s Ben Grubbs, who presented this at a conference in Ho Chi Minh City in November; I’m interpreting the figures with a 000 at the end):
So Facebook added upward of 35 million users in Asia last year. Without even trying. The company doesn’t even have an office in Asia as far as I’m aware.
And in many of those markets what spurred Facebook ahead of Friendster was the strength of its mobile offer.
Smartphones have propelled Facebook Mobile in the West. Smartphone penetration is still pretty low (though growing) in Asia, but for many the mobile remains the first point of access to the internet. For a company as volume-focused as Facebook, a good mobile offer has been key to adding users in that part of the world.
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