It is estimated that Facebook Group’s India revenues stood at more than Rs 9,000 crore (around $1.2 billion) in 2020-21, against Rs 6,613 crore in the previous fiscal. The actual figures could not be confirmed as they are yet to be filed with the Registrar of Companies. The Facebook Group had revenues of Rs 2,254 crore in 2018-19 (numbers captured FB India’s revenues only for the second half as before that it was recorded under international operations).
The growth for the company has been phenomenal over the past few years as data prices have crashed and smartphones became cheaper, something that coincided with the growing sway of social media platforms with the masses.
And, the lockdown proved to be yet another booster shot for social media and internet companies as people worked, studied, and shopped from home. This growth in online interactions gave a massive push to digital advertising, benefiting dominant companies such as Facebook and Google.
Ajit Mohan, MD for Facebook in India, said digital remains strong and so does online advertising. “Last year saw an inflection point in consumers not just moving online, but also deeply engaging with businesses and brands online… Recognising this, savvy marketers are shifting their spends online and this is driving growth in digital advertising in India,” Mohan said.
“We expect the digital market to grow around 40% this fiscal. Last fiscal was a landmark year, and digital consumption shot up during the pandemic period. The trend is almost irreversible,” Shashi Sinha, CEO of advertiser major IPG, said.
Mohan said the engagement for digital companies has been getting deeper into the economy. “Businesses — large and small — have used digital as a medium to connect with their customers. When the world shut down, the internet remained open. We are now discovering that many of the changes in consumer behaviour triggered by the pandemic are here to stay.”
Ashish Bhasin, CEO of Dentsu Asia-Pacific, said the pace of growth in digital has been enormous. “A change that would have taken five-to-ten years, happened in just one year.”