Social media giant Facebook has crossed 100 million active users in India, its largest base outside the US. "Today, we have more than 100 million people who access Facebook actively in India each month," Facebook India Head of Growth & Mobile Partnerships Kevin D'Souza told PTI. Facebook's mission is to give people the power to share and to make the world more open and connected, he said. On the outlook, D'Souza said: "We recently announced, a global partnership with the goal of connecting the next 5 billion people around the world, to make the same access and opportunity available to everyone." "It is with this in mind that we look towards like-minded partners who want to innovate and share the same vision as us to understand better how Internet access can be increased to reach millions more people across India," he added. Powered by burgeoning smartphone adoption and increasing Internet penetration in the country, Facebook has seen a meteoric rise in its user base since setting up its first office in India in 2010 in Hyderabad. Back then, it had about 8 million users in the country. According to Facebook, 84 million of its 100 million users in India access the social networking site from their mobile devices. The California-headquartered firm has already projected that future growth will come from mobile, as more users in emerging markets, especially India, log on to the site through handheld devices. Set up in 2004 from a college dorm, Facebook had 1.23 billion users across the world as of December 31. Facebook saw its global daily active users (DAUs) rise by 22 per cent to 757 million during December from 618 million in the year-ago period, helped by growth in major markets, including Brazil, India and the US. Worldwide mobile DAUs rose 49 per cent to 556 million on average during December from 374 million during December 2012. Monthly active users (MAUs) in India stood at 93 million at the end of December, of which 75 million logged in through their mobile phones. DAUs from India stood at 41 million in the December quarter of 2013, while mobile DAUs stood at 31 million.


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GOLD FLAKE BURNS FINGERDiversified group ITC Ltd today said it has increased prices of its Gold Flake cigarette brand by over 7 per cent. The price of Gold Flake Filter pack consisting of 10 cigarettes will now cost Rs 59 from Rs 55 earlier. Likewise, Gold Flake Premium Filter cigarette will cost Rs 58, up from Rs 55 earlier. When contacted, a company spokesperson confirmed the hike in prices. ITC, which is the market leader in cigarettes in India, sells various brands including India Kings, Classic Gold Flake, Navy Cut among others. The company's cigarettes business grew by 11.48 per cent to Rs 3,623.23 crore during the fourth quarter ended March 31, 2013, compared to Rs 3,249.88 crore in the same period of previous fiscal. ITC produces cigarettes at manufacturing plants located in Bengaluru, Munger, Saharanpur, Kolkata and Pune. Besides FMCG, ITC has interests hotels, paperboards and packaging, tobacco products and information technology. Net sales of the company rose to Rs 29,605.58 crore for the year ended March 31, 2013, compared to Rs 24,798.43 crore in the 2011-12 financial year. Shares of ITC today closed at Rs 338.50 on the BSE, up 3.74 per cent from its previous close.


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