This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

The Digital Skeptic: Facebook Has Many Mouths to Feed in Global Market

With additional reporting by Apurva Chaudhary in Mumbai

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- It's never easy getting paid. And in this grinding global mobile economy, it's especially not easy for Facebook (FB) to get paid.

This year, the social media giant announced it would offer other countries, including India, the ability to pay to promote a post. Already well-known to American users, pay-to-promote, at least when I tried it, is where Facebookers cough up a couple of bucks -- in my case, $8 -- to get more folks to see one's Facebook stuff.

Life-changing it was not, but at least I paid for something on Facebook. And investors are betting that between these and other paying services some real money will really flow Mark Zuckerberg's way. Overseas markets such as India look particularly lucrative. There are 60 million some-odd Facebookers in India, according to SocialBakers, a Czech Republic-based social media search measurement firm, and these users live in a country with $1.8 trillion in GDP for 2011 that should grow in the 7% range this year, according to the World Bank.

It all seems so rosy, but of course it's the digital age. So it's not. Break down the nitty-gritty of Facebook offering -- and getting payment for -- a service in an emerging economy such as India's and it gets very clear very fast that Mr. Zuckerberg will have a lot of hungry mouths to feed before he ever sees a dime.

It's crowded in here
At first blush, how Facebook does business in India is how it does business here in the U.S. Harish Krishnan, who blogs about social media for BlogAdda, one of India's largest blogger communities, and who uses Facebook heavily to market and communicate from Mumbai, explained via email to me how Facebook's paid service works in his home country.

Users are prompted -- just like they are in the U.S. -- with an offer to promote a post for a fee. To explain, he included a screenshot of what an average Indian Facebook user, in this case Ravi Sethia, faced when trying to pay to promote a post on India's Facebook service back in September.

What happens, Krishnan told me, is that as services such as Facebook try to charge fees, something very un-American happens: All sorts of third parties flock in seeking a cut of the action.

"A lot of mobile carriers have included Facebook as a value-added service to incite more users," he said. "But there is a difference in the charges based on the mode of payment."

1 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 17,156.85 +24.88 0.15%
S&P 500 2,001.57 +2.59 0.13%
NASDAQ 4,562.1890 +9.43 0.21%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs