Five Friday Facts #80


64M monthly Facebook users in Indonesia
In the past year, Indonesia has seen some of the strongest levels of growth on social media across the globe. To this end, TechInAsia reports that Facebook has reached a new milestone of 64 million monthly users in the market. This announcement came from Charlene Chian, the Facebook’s head of communications in the APAC region. Indonesia has become a priority market for the social network, as Dan Neary, Facebook VP for Asia-Pacific, has marked Indonesia as crucial to Facebook’s continued expansion.

Indian youth prefer WhatsApp and Facebook over calls, SMS
A recent article by the Times of India has found that social media was the preferred means of communication for a vast majority of Indian youths. Based on a 2012-2013 Gen-Y study by Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), the findings revealed that roughly 75 percent of India’s youths woud prefer social media platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter over phone calls and SMS. These findings indicate that more students are also using these platforms for school-related tasks as well. While affordability is a factor in the preference for internet-based communication, the study also concluded that social networking tools afford students greater ease in collaborating during team projects and collaboration. About 74 percent of the respondents said they used Facebook the most to communicate, while 54 percent indicated SMS. By contrast, only 44 percent of the participants said they used voice calls the most for the same question.

Social networks reach nearly 1 in 4 of global population
The prevalence of social media has continued to gather momentum, as a recent eMarketer report suggests nearly one in four individuals of the global population are social networkers. Based on a study conducted in April 2013, eMarketer predicts that the 1.47 billion social network users of 2012 will increase to 1.73 billion by the end of this year. This growth constitutes an 18 percent increase from 2012. Globally, the penetration rate of social networking was at 20.9 percent in 2012; eMarketer predicts that this share will rise to 24.4 percent by the end of this year. By 2017, it may rise to reach over a third of the population (34.5 percent). Emerging markets in Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Africa are expected to drive the strongest levels of growth in the next few years. Asia Pacific currently has the largest  user base of social networkers, consisting of 777 million users in the region. eMarketer expects that the region will claim nearly half of the user base worldwide, with 44.8 percent of all social network users by the end of 2013.

Hike has nearly 10M downloads; 50% active users
The latest buzz in chat apps has put Indian chat app Hike in the social media limelight. The app is less than a year old, and already the second most popular chat app in India. According to TheNextWeb, the promising and relatively new app has received strong support from investors across the world, with a $7 million round of investment coming from Bharti SoftBank (BSB), a joint venture between Bharti Enterprises and SoftBank. The latter is a Japanese operator that also happens to be Hike’s parent company. The Head of Product and Strategy at BSB, Kavin Bharti Mittal, has announced that Hike will introduce language support at a rapidfire rate of “four to five languages each month” to bolster growth on an international level. It is interesting to note that Hike is already achieving relative success in reaching non-local markets, with 40 percent of the user base located outside of India. Hike currently processes nearly 1 billion messages per month, and is close to reaching 10 million total downloads. With an active user base of 50 percent, this app is sure to stay on the radar for both upcoming and established competitors alike.

Over 1M businesses actively advertising on Facebook
According to a recent report by Mashable, Facebook Ads have reached a new milestone this week. The social network made an announcement on Tuesday that over one million businesses are active advertisers on Facebook. The director of small business, Dan Levy, indicated that the “vast majority” of these advertisers were small businesses. Levy also described the feedback they had received, and the businesses predominantly requested that the advertising process be made simpler. Mashable notes that Facebook has reduced their offering of ad products in order to “streamline and improve the experience for advertisers.” This growth in Facebook ads is likely to continue, as 16 million small businesses were already active Facebook page users.