India helps FB daily active userbase grow 9% to 1.62bn

India helps FB daily active userbase grow 9% to 1.62bn

A Facebook employee walks by a sign displaying the "like" sign at Facebook's corporate headquarters campus in Menlo Park, California. (Photo by AFP)

Social media giant Facebook has seen a nine per cent growth in its daily active user base to 1.62 billion in the September 2019 quarter, driven by markets like India and Indonesia.

The US-based company saw its net income growing 19 per cent to USD 6.09 billion in the September 2019 quarter from the year-ago period. Its total revenue also increased by 29 per cent to USD 17.65 billion year-on-year in the said quarter.

"Daily active users reached 1.62 billion, up 9 per cent compared to last year, led by growth in India, Indonesia, and the Philippines. This represents approximately 66 per cent of the 2.45 billion monthly active users in September," Facebook Chief Financial Officer David Wehner said during an investor call.

Facebook also runs the photo-sharing platform Instagram, and messaging app WhatsApp.

Wehner said about 2.2 billion people used at least one of its apps on a daily basis in September, and around 2.8 billion were active on a monthly basis.

"Monthly active users (MAUs) grew 8 per cent or 178 million compared to last year. We were pleased with the growth trends in all regions including the US and Canada," he added.

The company, which is one of the largest ad platforms globally, saw its ad revenue in the September quarter rise 28 per cent YoY to USD 17.38 billion.

"In terms of regional ad revenue growth, APAC and rest of world (RoW) were strongest and grew 35 per cent and 34 per cent, respectively. APAC got more of a revenue lift from our recent product optimisations while RoW benefitted from favourable macroeconomic trends compared to the weaker environment in Q3 of last year," he said.

North America and Europe grew 27 per cent and 24 per cent, respectively.

Facebook does not break out country-specific revenue details.

Talking about payments services on WhatsApp, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the company is optimistic that it will soon be able to launch WhatsApp Pay to masses in India.

"We're, of course, working on payments in WhatsApp. We have our tests going on in India. The test really shows that a lot of people are going to want to use this product. We're very optimistic that we are going to be able to launch to everyone in India soon," he said.

WhatsApp's service, which would compete against the likes of Paytm, PhonePe and Google Pay, has been in testing for months now and is yet to be rolled out nationally in India.

WhatsApp has over 1.5 billion users globally, of which India alone accounts for about 400 million.

In a separate statement, Facebook India said has collaborated with venture capital firm SAIF Partners to enable growth of small and medium businesses (SMBs) and entrepreneurship in the country.

The partnership is a part of Facebook's VC Brand Incubator Program that was launched in June for building the ecosystem for SMB growth in the country by providing young businesses with timely skilling and guidance.

VC Brand Incubator Program has already partnered Sauce.VC and Fireside Ventures.

"In partnership with these three VC funds, Facebook has already skilled, trained, and mentored more than 70 brands at various stages of their growth journey," the statement said.

The 24 brands associated with SAIF Partners have now become a part of Facebook’s VC Brand Incubator Program. These include the likes of Chaayos, Spinny, Airblack, Peebuddy, Skoodoo, and TheMomsCo.

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