Google’s core competence is search. But the millions now joining the Internet in India and similar countries do not appear to value search as much as the early adopters, according to company research. So Google is offering other products specifically designed for the Indian market, according to NYT:
Many of the new Indian users have basic phones, which make it difficult for them to run certain apps or to store big files like videos. Data plans are limited, and despite a telecom price war that has cut the price of a megabyte of data by as much as 97 percent, some customers are unable to afford more data when they run out.
Google’s Android software and apps like the Chrome browser, Maps and YouTube are often included with smartphones. But Facebook also makes products that vie for the attention of Indian consumers and advertisers.
In fact, WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram — all Facebook products — occupied three of the top six spots this year when the research firm App Annie measured how Indians spent their time online.
Arjun Vishwanathan, associate director of emerging technologies at IDC India, said that search, Google’s core expertise, was “culturally not that important to Indians.”