Indian telecom operators opted for tariff hikes of the prepaid plans back in November of 2021. Now the social media giant Facebook has revealed that the prepaid data hike by Indian telecom operators has adversely affected the overall growth of Facebook in India in the fourth quarter of 2021. The data has been revealed by the company itself as Meta CEO Dave Wehner said in a statement that company quarterly earnings or call it Facebook user growth was impacted in the fourth quarter. Earlier, the three leading telcos – Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea had increased the tariff on their prepaid plans by 25%.
Tariff Hikes Resulted in Slow Growth
According to a report from IANS, the CEO of Meta informed that user growth had been pulled forward in the regions of Asia-Pacific as well as the Rest of the world because of the Covid resurgence. He added that the growth in India was also impacted because of the higher data package pricing. In addition to this, he also mentioned that the competitive platforms are also hampering the company’s growth particularly when it comes to the younger audience.
Vodafone Idea or Vi was the first telco to announce the prepaid tariff hikes and Reliance Jio followed the suit by increasing the tariffs by up to more than 20% with effect from December 1, 2021. Bharti Airtel increased the pricing of the prepaid plans by up to 25% with effect from November 26, while Vodafone Idea also increased the prices by 25% with effect from November 25. The telcos stated that the tariff hikes were necessary to commence the process of Average Revenue Per User or ARPU improvement and will aid the companies during times of financial stress in the industry.
The Counterpoint Research Director Tarun Pathak had informed that social media platforms were going to be affected by the tariff hikes and Facebook happens to be one of them. He informed that the country has millions of prepaid users and new users are adding in every day. Social media usage however has declined since the tariff hikes given the price-sensitive market of India. Facebook has lost daily users for the first time and the company has also confirmed that it is the first sequential decline in history.