Facebook's growth is significant, especially in the emerging markets like India, Brazil, Indonesia and others. With the rapid growth of smartphone adoption in these countries, Facebook usage from mobile devices has spiked. According to the world's largest social networking platform, 133 million out of 142 million users in India access Facebook through their mobile phones.
India's total user base puts one of the world's fastest growing nations on top of all other markets for Facebook after the United States, PTI reported. The site has 69 million active users in India, who access Facebook on a daily basis, while 64 million users are on mobile. With emerging markets in mind, Facebook had launched a "Lite" variant of the app, which according to Vijay Shankar — the head of Products for Facebook Lite — has crossed 100 million users around the world in just nine months.
"Facebook Lite has reached 100 million monthly active users in less than nine months since it launched, making it our fastest-growing version of Facebook to hit that milestone," PTI quoted Shankar as saying.
Facebook Lite was launched in June last year, and is currently available in over 150 countries across Latin America, Asia, Africa and parts of Europe. The app's success is primarily driven by adoption in countries like India, Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico and the Philippines, Shankar said.
Facebook Lite, as the name says, is very small in size (less than 1MB) compared to the main app, which is several hundred megabytes, depending on the device. Due to low penetration of 3G and 4G services in emerging markets and controlled economies, Facebook Lite offers an easy solution for social networking. The app reportedly uses less data and works in constrained network conditions.
Given the app's growing popularity, Facebook Lite received several useful features like video support, multi-photo support and pinch-to-zoom for photos. Shankar also noted Facebook reduced the app's startup time and made it 25 percent faster, the Economics Times reported.
Facebook had a total of 1.59 billion monthly active users as of December 2015. The company's popular messaging application — WhatsApp — joined the billion-user club earlier this month, a significant achievement for Facebook.