The Next Billion Facebook Users (Don’t Look Here)
About half of all the people online are on Facebook. Nearly 1 billion out of 2 billion on the Internet. Skype has just about that many, and so do Google (1 bn) and Yahoo (700mm). Nobody has over 1 billion user accounts yet though “users” is > “accounts” for most sites.
So how to get bigger? Where from the next billion?
At Peek we often hear folks going on about the next wave of Internet users — billions of developing country people out there in India, Indonesia, Africa, SE Asia… And, they will be mobile-centric. So it’s Peek turf.
Surely this is an interesting place to look if you are a network-effects online player like Facebook.
But just look at these folks near a big metro stop in western New Delhi, India:
Folks, these guys don’t have broadband or narrowband, don’t have PCs, don’t have smartphones, haven’t heard of Facebook or Google, and they are only now just getting featurephones with big screens. 5 years ago there were 200mm mobile users in India and now there are 750mm — so that is growing fast. But only 1/3 of the total has mobile data.
Now you might think “oh man wait for that <$100 Android phone with X to launch..." --> the thing is, it did already. It launched last December. And Android is today a tiny 1ish% of the Indian mobile phone market (careful with your search terms –> not % of Indian smartphone market, but total phone market).
So if you are looking for the next billion Facebook users, you won’t find them surfing the web over here. You will find them walking down the street near this metro — with a basic phone in their pocket today. To go from 1 billion users per month to 2 billion, Google or Facebook is going to have to grow the world of people with devices and connections. Something that will happen a bit more slowly than the pure share gains they have been riding the last 10 years.