Facebook’s 51 million Indian active users and other interesting numbers

Facebook filed the fourth amendment to its S-1 today and I found some really interesting numbers going through it.

I’m sure everyone has read the 901 million and 500 million number which is the number of active Facebook users and the number of mobile users, and at this rate it only looks inevitable that Facebook hits a billion active users in a month or two.

What’s not so widely reported is the breakdown in subscribers by country, and also where the growth in subscribers is coming from, which makes for some interesting reading as well.

Brazil and India Subscribers Grow By More Than 100%

Brazil and India were two countries where Orkut was initially a lot more popular than Facebook, and while I’m sure all of us know that Indians ditched Orkut for Facebook, it looks like Brazil is doing that at an even faster rate.

Brazil had 45 million active Facebook users as on March 31st 2011, and it grew at a scorching pace of 180% from last year. It seems to me that Brazil showed the highest growth among all the bigger countries.

India grew at a pretty rapid 107% as well, and had 51 million active users as on March 31st 2012.

Another interesting bit of stat related to this was that while they estimate penetration rate of 60% in India, it’s just 30% – 40% in Brazil.

When you think about that number with respect to the total population in both countries (India at over a billion and Brazil at about 200 million) you realize what a huge difference there is in internet access to the population. From these numbers it seems that out of Brazil’s 200 million population, about a 120 million have internet access, and from India’s 1 billion population, only about 90 million people have internet access.

Perhaps the only consolation is that India is ahead of China in at least the number of Facebook users that it has. Facebook says that it has a total of 0% penetration in China!

50% of Revenues from US and Canada

While the subscribers may have grown rapidly in Brazil and India, the bulk of the money is made in US and Canada. In the first quarter, they generated 50% of their revenues from US and Canada, 31% from Europe, 11% from Asia and 8% from the rest of the world.

They calculate a metric called ARPU (Average Revenue Per User) and that’s how much money they generated divided by the number of active users in that period, this number is further broken down into geographies as well, and not surprisingly it shows that the ARPU is much higher in the developed world than it is in emerging markets because advertising rates are higher in the developed markets than they are in developing ones.

The highest ARPU was in US and Canada at $2.86, Europe came second with $1.40, Asia and the ROW were quite below these numbers at 53 cents and 37 cents respectively. The worldwide ARPU was $1.21.

3,539 Full Time Employees and Billion Dollar Revenues

Last year Facebook had revenues of a billion dollars and at the end of this quarter they had 3,539 employees. TCS results were declared today and they clocked revenues of over $10 billion last year, and had over 2 lakh employees. This is an amazing contrast and I think India got really lucky that a sector in the economy emerged that provides large scale employment and in fact Facebook has an office in Hyderabad as well, so a few of those 3,500 odd employees must be in India as well.

These were some numbers that caught my eye reading through the document and I can only imagine India’s share in users, advertisers and employees growing in Facebook in the coming years. Just how much, remains to be seen.

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