Facebook top social networking site in India

Number of Facebook users in country soars by massive 179 percent within one year, making it top social networking site in July, new report finds.
Written by Jamie Yap, Contributor on

For the first time in India, Facebook snagged the top position as the most visited social networking site with 20.9 million visitors in July, marking a 12 percent jump from June and a 179 percent from the year before.

According to the new stats from ComScore, released Wednesday, Google's social network Orkut clocked in at second place with 19.9 million visitors, up 16 percent from July 2009 when the site had actually more visitors that Facebook's 7.5 million.

More than 33 million Web users in India, aged 15 and above, visited social networking sites in July, up 43 percent over 2009. This group accounted for 84 percent of the country's overall Internet audience.

Will Hodgman, executive vice president of Asia-Pacific for ComScore, said in the report: "The social networking phenomenon continues to gain steam worldwide, and India represents one of the fastest growing markets at the moment.

"Though Facebook has tripled its audience in the past year to pace the growth for the category, several other social networking sites have posted their own sizeable gains."

ComScore noted that while Twitter registered a higher jump in visitor count than Facebook, at a whopping 239 percent, the microblogging site ranked lower--at fifth position--due to the comparatively smaller visitor base, from 984,000 in July 2009 to 3.3 million in July 2010. Facebook, in comparison, surged from almost 7.5 million to 20.9 million visitors over the same period.

The social networking juggernaut last year had intensified efforts to expand its presence in India, adding Hindi and five other India dialects to its language support in a bid to close the gap against Orkut, which had dominated the local social networking scene.

Globally, India now ranks as the seventh largest market for social networking, trailing behind the United States, China, Germany, Russia, Brazil and the United Kingdom. According to ComScore, over 945 million online users worldwide visited social networking sites in July, up 23 percent from 770.1 million the same month last year.

All numbers exclude access from public computers such as Internet cafes and from mobile phones and PDAs.

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