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Growth

Facebook reaches 100 million users in India, set to outnumber US market

Facebook has surpassed the mark of 100 million users in India, underscoring its rapid growth in emerging economies. By the end of 2014, India is expected to become the world’s biggest market for the social network.

Facebook has hit more than 100 million users in India, making it the second largest market after the United States, the US-based social network said Wednesday.

Speaking to the Indian daily newspaper Economic Times, Facebook's head of India Growth and Mobile Partnerships said India's mobile phone market was driving growth along with better Internet coverage across the country's 1.2 billion population.

India has become Facebook's primary growth market because usage in mature markets such as the United States and Europe seems to be tapering off. In most emerging economies, however, it leads social network services - except in Russia where local rivals are preferred, and in China which banned Facebook in 2009. In India, the company has expanded rapidly since it started off in 2010, rising from 8 million users back then to more than 100 million now.

"Now we look forward to 1 billion in India - that's a different focus and challenge," Facebook executive in charge of global growth, Javier Olivan, told Economic Times.

Taking stock on Facebook's 10th anniversary

Under a 10-year plan, the social network aims to tap into the growing use of mobile phones and the Internet in India. The country has 164 million Internet subscribers, with more than half of them logging in from mobile phones.

Analysts believe India might overtake the United States as Facebook's largest market by the end of this year. In the US, the social network has about 183 million users who access it at least once a month.

uhe/mz (dpa, AFP)

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