Facebook in India

I was on a very short visit to Mumbai, India to meet my friends Rajesh Jain and Arun Katiyar – one of those exciting trips in which you go from the airport to a hotel/meeting and then back to airport.  This was first for me in India – had no chance to feel that I was really in India.  Of course a car ride from Airport to any place in Mumbai shows you the diversity that Mumbai and India offers and the day was really hot and humid – just before the Monsoons – to make my 5 minutes walk to the car in the parking lot give me good experience of Mumbai’s weather.  I did feel that I am in Mumbai.

 

In this trip, however, I got a chance to hear some young people (three 19 year old girls) talk about what they like and dislike on Internet.  Their excitement about Facebook was something to be experienced.  It appears that Facebook has become the most important medium for social communication among them.  They love everything about Facebook and they are ecstatic about the new application environment.  They think now they have everything that they need to remain in touch with all their friends.  They repeatedly mentioned that they are on Facebook all the time.  When asked what is missing on Facebook, the only thing they mentioned was that it would be great if it were available on mobile phones.

 

Of course, these people are not your average Indian young people; they are from upper socio-economic tier of Mumbai.  But one thing is clear, there is a revolution brewing in the Internet space.  Environments like Facebook and Myspace offer easy publishing tools, powerful communication mechanisms using multimedia experience, and automatically created personal activity reports that are of interest to people in their social life.  By putting these things in an environment that allows people to know ‘interesting’ happenings (yes, I am avoiding the term event intentionally) in their friend-circle, these systems are becoming the most dominant software used by young people around the globe.  And by opening their system and becoming platform, Facebook has indeed brought in a major revolution in social networking.

 

One can only wonder what is next in social networking.  It does appear that the major next revolution in this area could be brought in by putting in natural tools to bring such an environment on mobile phones.  The fact that mobile phone is the only ‘thing’ that you can not be anywhere without makes this kind of obvious.  However, I am not thinking about the obvious and usually short-term extension of the current environment to mobile phones, but a really thought out approach in which features of mobile phones are used to make it a nice client – as easy or better than PC.  This could in fact be revolutionary.

10 thoughts on “Facebook in India

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  3. terkoz

    Yes, all over the world social networking is a revolution. And as you said I think the next step is cellphones and wireless devices.

    Thanks for an informative article!

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