Facebook is constantly searching for ways to further expand the popularity of social media networks and services. The latest attempt involves India’s top network carrier. The social media giant announced that it has invested $5.7 billion in Jio Platforms, part of the giant portfolio of the Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries. Through this deal, Facebook became the largest minority shareholder.
“India is a special country for us. Over the years, Facebook has invested in India to connect people and help businesses launch and grow. WhatsApp is so ingrained in Indian life that it has become a commonly used verb across many Indian languages and dialects. Facebook brings together friends and families, but moreover, it’s one of the country’s biggest enablers of growth for small businesses. And Instagram has grown dramatically in India in recent years as the place where people follow their interests and passions.”
The reason behind the deal is an attempt to integrate JioMart and Whatsapp services. Facebook wants to ensure that people in India can connect with business, shop, and ultimately purchase products in a seamless mobile experience. Therefore, Facebook can ensure that Whatsapp will work in India in a similar way to the Chinese WeChat. The platform is basically an IM service but allows users to purchase and make offline payments.
Whatsapp currently has over 400 million users in the country, so it’s not really surprising to see Facebook investing in the platform. In the same essence, Jio is currently the most popular carrier in India. It brought half a billion people to the internet during the past few years. Now, Facebook states its commitment to further expand the availability of its services alongside Jio.