Facebook’s Growth Woes In India: Too Much Nudity, Not Enough Women

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On Feb. 2, when Meta Platforms (META.O) reported Facebook’s first-ever quarterly drop in daily users; its finance chief identified higher mobile data costs as a unique obstacle slowing growth in India; its biggest market. On the same day, the U.S. tech group posted the findings of its own research into Facebook’s business in India on an internal employee forum. The study, conducted over the two years to the end of 2021, identified different problems.

Many women have shunned the male-dominated social network because they’re worried about their safety and privacy, according to the Meta research, which hasn’t been previously reported. “Concerns about content safety and unwanted contact impede women’s FB use,” said the study; as it detailed the platform’s main challenges.

Meta cannot succeed in India while leaving women behind. Other obstacles included nudity content, the perceived complexity of its app design; local language and literacy barriers and a lack of appeal among internet users seeking video content, according to the research; which was based on surveys of tens of thousands of people as well as internal user data.

Facebook’s growth began plateauing last year; when it added a few million users in the space of six months in the country of about 1.4 billion people; significantly lagging sister apps WhatsApp and Instagram, according to the report, which noted; “FB has grown more slowly than the internet and other apps.” A Meta spokesperson, contacted about the study; said the company regularly invested in internal research to better understand the value its products provide and help identify ways to improve.



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