Facebook is handily winning the battle of social networks in south Asia. According to a new study by Jana, Facebook is the social network of choice in Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, the Philippines, and Vietnam, toppling Twitter, Google Plus, and Zing. In nearly every country, more than 70 percent of respondents said they use Facebook more than any other social media site.
Nokia introduced the first model of its new family of Asha smartphones, the Nokia Asha 501, and the handset maker teamed up with Facebook and mobile carrier Airtel to announced that the latter’s customers in Africa and India would receive data-free access to the Facebook application and m.facebook.com for a limited time.
Facebook has been making a push to get users to like more pages. It appears to be working. As Socialbakers notes, the average Facebook user in 2009 liked 4.5 pages. Now that figure has risen to 40. In the U.S., Facebook users like an average of 70 pages.
Facebook’s Gifts feature is slowly starting to go global, as readers of sister blog Inside Facebook located in the U.K., Canada, and India reported the ability to send gifts to their friends, but only to friends in the U.S.
Facebook has company in the billionaires’ club, as Google-owned video site YouTube announced in a post on its blog that it has reached 1 billion unique monthly users. Of course, Facebook had 1.06 billion monthly active users as of Dec. 31, 2012, and MAUs are more specific than unique users. But 1 billion is still an impressive number.
Facebook announced partnerships with 18 mobile operators in 14 countries aimed at providing users with free or discounted data access for its Messenger for Android, Messenger for iOS, and Facebook for Every Phone mobile applications.
Mobile payment platform Bango is about to process a £6.5 million ($10.2 million) transaction of its own after announcing the closure of an investment round Friday featuring new and existing investors.
Facebook can’t legally get into China, but in a few years, the social network might be bigger than the country. A new blog post from Pingdom suggests that by 2016, there might be more people with profiles on Facebook than living in China, making Facebook larger than any country in the world.
As Facebook mentioned in its 10-K filing, the site still has a serious problem with fake profiles, used to bolster shady pages’ fan metrics. It appears that the social network did some cleaning up in January, as several countries (notably the U.S. and Indonesia) lost a great number of users last month, according to Quintly. All around the world, more than 4 million users’ profiles were deleted in January.