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Facebook can now take on TikTok, thanks to Jio

With the Jio deal, Facebook can leverage the internet giants reach in India.

April 22, 2020 / 12:20 PM IST

There is no denying that India’s internet growth story has largely come from Jio. In less than four years, Jio has brought more than 388 million Indians online.

Facebook can now leverage this opportunity as the two companies have joined hands, a partnership which was announced on the morning of April 22.

The deal with Jio can also make Facebook a tough competition for TikTok, the short-format video sharing platform.

TikTok in India became a huge success in 2018 and generated over 100 million downloads in the country. Since then, the platform has seen more downloads and more users come on to the platform.

Currently, TikTok has 120 million monthly active users with a total 200 million users in India. The platform expects the number to go up to 300 million by 2020.

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Also, the platform recorded 323 million downloads in India in 2019 as the country accounted for 44 percent of total TikTok app downloads, according to a report by App Annie.

This shows that India loves to both create and consume videos especially in short formats.

Looking at this craze, Facebook was reportedly planning to launch its short-form video app Lasso which was introduced in the US market in 2019.

Now, with the Jio deal, Facebook’s Lasso can leverage the internet giant’s reach in India.

India in 2019 registered 451 million monthly internet users, and a large part of them has access to the internet because of Jio.

Also, a report by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and Nielsen, titled India Internet 2019, says that around 72 percent - or approximately 139 million - of India's urban internet users access the internet daily. Nearly 109 million - or 57 percent - rural users are active digitally.

This growth in internet users in both urban and rural markets can be attributed to Jio’s affordable data plans, which has led to deeper internet penetration in India.

In addition, India likes two things the most - visiting a social network and watching videos. According to an EY 2019 report, on apps, these two are the most-preferred activities.

So, Facebook may now have both the audience and the reach.

Disclaimer: Reliance Industries Ltd. is the sole beneficiary of Independent Media Trust which controls Network18 Media & Investments Ltd

Catch our entire coverage on the Facebook-Jio deal here..
Maryam Farooqui

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