Facebook India reported a 29 per cent increase in net profit and a 43 per cent jump in revenues for FY ended March 31, 2020, from the preceding FY. The expenses for the social media giant, which has India as its biggest market, also shot up from Rs 736 crore in FY19.
Social networking website Facebook’s India business, which is operated by Facebook India Online Services Private Limited, has reported a 29 per cent increase in net profit and 43 per cent jump in revenues for the financial year (FY) ended March 31, 2020, from the preceding FY. While FY20 profit stood at Rs 136 crore up from Rs 105 crore in FY19, the revenues increased from Rs 892 crore to Rs 1,277 crore during the said period, according to the regulatory documents sourced from business intelligence platform Tofler. However, the profit and revenue growth rates declined from 84 per cent and 71 per cent respectively in FY19 from FY18. Facebook India had reported Rs 57 crore in profit and Rs 521 in revenues in FY18. The FY20 expenses for the social media giant, which has India as its biggest market, also shot up 42 per cent to Rs 1,046 crore from Rs 736 crore in FY19.
Facebook had 310 million users in India as of October 2020 followed by 190 million users in the US, 140 million in Indonesia, 130 million in Brazil, and 92 million in Mexico among its top five markets, as per statistics portal Statista. The number of users is likely to grow to 444 million users in India by 2023. Moreover, its usage penetration in the country is expected to increase from 21 per cent in 2018 to 31 per cent in 2023. Its group companies WhatsApp has over 400 million users while Instagram has 120 million users in India.
2020 was a year of the spotlight for Facebook not just from its investment in Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance but also the hate speech controversy. The company had put Rs 43,754 crore into Jio Platforms for a stake of 9.99 per cent at an enterprise value of Rs 4.62 lakh crore to become the largest minority shareholder. The company’s controversial policy head Ankhi Das who had allegedly opposed taking down the right-wing hate content had resigned from the company in October. Facebook had appointed Sunil Abraham as the Public Policy, Director for Data and Emerging Tech in the same month.
In November, Facebook had launched an online guide for Indian small businesses to set-up their online presence and expand. The guide was divided into five key areas – preparing to get small businesses online and setting marketing goals, establishing presence by staying connected with customers through Instagram and WhatsApp as well, attracting customers via effective social media strategies, engaging with them, and improving creative strategy. Facebook had also claimed to be reaching out to 9 million small businesses in India for the required support.