Facebook Inc (FB): Spreading Gifts but Losing South Africa?

Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) did not take long to become an international social-networking sensation, having worldwide familiarity and near-universal dominance of social networking with its one billion users. And the company is moving forward this week with the expansion of one of its recent e-commerce features into one of the world’s largest emerging markets – with a catch, of course. On the other side of the coin, however, there seems to be this reality -while there has been much talk about Facebook growth slowing, the is evidence that the universe of Facebookers is actually contracting – at least in one corner of the world.

Facebook Inc. (FB)Our first piece of Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) news this Monday morning takes us to India, suddenly a very competitive emerging market in the tech world. It is being reported this week that Facebook is rolling out its Facebook Gifts feature in India, allowing  Facebook users in India to use a credit cards (instead of Facebook Credits) to send offline gifts to fellow Facebookers in the U.S. There is no report so far that says the Gifts feature will apply from India to any other country, and so far the Gifts feature  is not available inbound to India.

The first rub in this concept is the relative lack of credit cards in India among a market of 71 million currently active members of Facebook that come from the country. The second is the outbound-only nature of the concept and the very limited market  to which gifts can be sent. After all, we get that the U.S. should be one target market; but wasn’t India a part of the British Empire? One might think thre wouldbe more potential gift recipients  in the U.K. for India residents. Oh well.

The second bit of Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) news on this Monday takes us into the Southern Hemisphere on the African continent, where Facebook is seeing shrinkage in South Africa as cold water has been poured on the enthusiasm of Facebook users in the country. What is causing this shrinkage in this part of the world?

There is a report based on a social-networking survey that suggests that nearly one million Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) users in South Africa have not logged into the service in at least six months, which means they are no longer considered “active” users which Facebook loves to boast. SocailBakers, a social-media watcher, reported that more than 967,000 South Africa accounts have gone inactive by having on login  record over the past six months, which is a decline of nearly 18 percent in the Facebook active user base. At this point, there is no report of a possible reason for the drop in users, thought there have been various reports of a phenomenon called “Facebook fatigue.” But we are not sure if that is an underlying reason for the defections.

What are your thoughts about these two bits of news for Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)? Which piece do you think will have longer-term effects on Facebook – the expansion of Gifts or the loss of users? Give us your insights in the comments section below.

Equally as important, have you seen the latest news about Facebook Home? Check out our recap of the news, and the drama.

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