In another attempt to increase its current 1.1 billion user base even further, for the past two years Facebook has been quietly working on a lighter version to be deployed in developing countries such as India, according Techgig.com. The reason for this is because there users in regions such as India who simply cannot afford high-end devices such as an iPhone, nor can they afford or subscribe to hefty monthly data plans either.
The initiative is called Facebook for Every Phone, as many of users come from the poorest regions of the world, and pay little to nothing for downloading photos and access to news streams. Data usage is to be subsidized by both mobile phone carriers and manufacturers directly, and Facebook has only begun selling ads in this segment.
Personally, I can see this definitely expanding Facebook's reach and popularity within India, especially within rural areas with people who are aware of what Facebook is, but still don’t have easily available access to it. In terms of generating revenues from ads, obviously Facebook's ads would be determined by region and demographics, and in turn, this could generate interest from Indian businesses and companies who had never thought about advertising with Facebook to begin with.
As for subscription base and usage itself, Facebook is still strong and popular in India, compared to other Western regions where the popularity has begun to slowly erode as users are either getting bored with Facebook or have realized it can jeopardize their personal and professional careers.
Indian users still have a ways to learn about the consequences of privacy settings within Facebook and how in fact it can effect either their personal or professional careers. The fine line between both, in my opinion, is blurred in India, as it appears users prefer to share their personal time with their professional colleagues on Facebook, more so if they are involved to begin with. Then again, personal time for professionals in India is quite limited to begin with, so I can see why they would be inclined to share their moments with all.
That being said, the Facebook for Every Phone initiative will definitely lure new users, from all demographics, across India join the Facebook bandwagon. As for current users, they could potentially save costs by downloading the new software from Facebook for this initiative too; another subtle way for Facebook to retain existing subscribers if you ask me.