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Facebook pushes ahead with its ‘#StayConnected’ agenda in India

“Communities exist because people have a need to belong and the reason why that community is so important to us is we being the part of the community, enable the final support and express yourself and most important how we can have people play safe,” stated Aditya Vaidya, Product Manager, Facebook. While speaking at an interactive session on ‘Facebook: A place to connect’ in Mumbai last week, Vaidya stressed on the importance of India for Facebook and said, “We are proud to have more than 184 million active monthly users in India who use Facebook to connect with their friends and family, and to build supportive communities online and offline. India is also the largest country for Whatsapp with 200 million users.” 

This showcase brought to life Facebook’s mission, shared its family of products and apps that are aimed at making the world #StayConnected. 

The event centered on three themes: Me, My Community and My World. Featured products included Facebook Live, Facebook Lite, Full Camera, 360 Photos, Groups, Events, Oculus, Instagram, WhatsApp as well as the company’s suite of safety, and security tools, including Safety Check, Community Help, Safety Center, Parents Portal, Bullying Prevention Hub and Suicide Prevention tools. The experiential workshop used live demonstration to experience technology enabled connectivity in this hyper digital world. 

While focusing on three key aspects – Supportive Communities, Self-expression and Safe community – Vaidya remarked, “Connecting with our own global community is really important for us and that’s why we are here. Facebook’s mission is to make the world more interactive. Imagine that we could connect one-third of the female population of India and put them in a same place where they can discuss and share anything on their minds and without the concern of being judged.” 

This event served as an opportunity for the Facebook teams to listen and receive feedback from the community as they work to ensure everyone’s Facebook experiences is great, regardless of where they connect. The company is building better experiences to work on all connections, devices, and communities. Products like Facebook Lite, which make it easier for people to access Facebook on older Android devices or slower connections, count India as one of the top countries. 

“We continue to make improvements to these products so people in India can connect. Just this month we are rolling out Reactions, an extension of the Like button on Facebook Lite. Now, conversations on FB Lite can be enhanced through Reactions, including ‘Love’, ‘Haha’, ‘Wow’, ‘Sad’ and ‘Angry’. Since the global rollout of Facebook Reactions in 2016, there have been 300 billion reactions on Facebook posts. The most popular reaction is Love, which makes up for more than half of all of reactions,” informed Vaidya. 

Facebook also rolled out local camera effects designed for India. In addition to the Camera Frames and effects that come standard in the Facebook camera, it has designed several custom effects for India to enable people to create and share photos and videos that showcase the expression of ‘Namaste’ as well as capture geo-specific experiences in Delhi, Mumbai, Goa, and other places. 

“We are really excited about the products we are building and to build social infrastructure for the community and help people find and discover the most supportive and meaningful groups on Facebook. We announced two new products on self-expression earlier this week – Camera Frames exclusive for people in India and secondly, launching Reactions on Facebook Lite. Lastly, helping people build safe communities is at the core of building social infrastructure. Safety check and community help are really great ways for people to stay safe during a crisis,” Vaidya continued.

Last month, Facebook rolled out its new camera feature to make the platform fast, fun and easy for people to share photos and videos.

Mark Zuckerberg, Founder and CEO, Facebook, had recently shared a letter to the community about giving people the power to build a global community. For the past decade, Facebook has focused on connecting friends and families. With that foundation, Zuckerberg stated, the next focus would be developing the social infrastructure for the community – for support, safety, sharing information, and civic engagement to have a positive impact in the world. 

According to a company statement, further advancing the Narendra Modi-led Government’s Digital India and Skills India vision, Facebook’s Small Business Boost programme has been designed to arm Indian businesses with the knowledge, skills and technology required to stay innovative and connect with customers at home and abroad.

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