An Indian thread has run through Facebook since before its existence as we know it. The original team of Harvard students who bandied about prior incarnations of the social networking site in the early 2000’s included Indian-Americans like Divya Narendra and Sanjay Mavinkurve. The importance of the role they played is subject to controversy as evidenced by massive lawsuits and a Hollywood blockbuster. But both men have now moved on to other endeavors.
Facebook meanwhile is fresh off its long-awaited IPO, so it’s a good time to take stock of where the company has been and where it’s going. India is already a core piece of the Facebook puzzle for operations and market potential. The company has over 45m Indian users, opened a hub in Hyderabad in 2010, and the expansion has continued since. India figures to increase in importance for any social marketing site. However, India presents multiple serious problems for Facebook, some unique and others a microcosm of troubles writ large.