Facebook’s Talktime program in India pays new mobile users in calling credit
TechCrunch has confirmed that Facebook has launched its Talktime program in India which gives every new user who signs up with a mobile device 50 Rupees (almost $1) in calling credits. Users also get an additional 50 Rupees for every user they refer who signs up to Facebook with a mobile device.
An Inside Facebook reader first tipped us to a story about Talktime posted on Machine Happy. A Facebook spokesperson has since confirmed the program to TechCrunch with the following statment:
“We partner with a number of telecoms companies around the world, many of whom offer incentives for their customers to use Facebook, such as zero rating mobile Internet access to the service. This test is another such initiative.”
Facebook’s Talktime initiative in India is in line with the social network’s strategy in territories where most users are likely to access Facebook through their phones.
At the Social-Loco conference in San Francisco in June, Facebook Head of Mobile Partnerships Emily White said that 90 percent of users in Africa use a mobile phone. Many of these are are likely to be using the Facebook for Every Phone App, a native mobile app compatible with more than 3,600 different Java-enabled feature phones.
India is another country with a large population of feature phone users. White said that 30 percent of users in India are now registering for the site through mobile phones, suggesting they are mobile-only users. It’s likely these users are among those who never visit Facebook on desktop. The company says it had 59 million MAU in India in June, an increase of 84 percent compared to the same period in 2011. An analysis using the Facebook ad tool suggests that about 30 percent of India’s users are active feature phone users and about 10 percent are Android or iPhone users.