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Facebook to open office in Africa by 2015

Facebook to open office in Africa by 2015
September 08
17:59 2014

World’s number one social networking site, Facebook, says it is considering opening an office in Africa by the year 2015.

Although the company did not reveal which African country will house its new office, its spokesperson in Africa, Iain MacKenzie, said back in June that the group was “really optimistic” about South Africa.

The recent announcement follows a revelation that Facebook has hit a 100 million subscriber landmark in Africa, a feat that could increase its global advertising revenue.

According to the social networking site, one in 10 Africans are logging on to Facebook every month.

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Eighty per cent of these subscribers log in from their mobile phones, it said.

Most of Facebook’s revenue comes from mobile.

“There is a fantastic opportunity for business as well if you are local or a global business,” Nicola Mendelsohn, Facebook’s vice president for Europe, Middle East and Africa, said.

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“Knowing that there is all these people now in Africa that you can connect with, that is exciting as well.”

Facebook is shifting its focus beyond established markets like United States and Europe to Africa.

Nigeria, South Africa and Egypt – Facebook’s largest market in sub-Saharan Africa – are some of the countries that could be heavily targeted for revenue growth by the California-based company.

However, the networking site has been trying to boost internet access in other African nations such as Zambia, where it recently launched its internet.org programme.

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Created by Facebook CEO, Mark Zukerberg, the internet.org is an app provided to modest internet connections.  It offers free access to 13 different services, including Facebook, Google search and Wikipedia.

In Africa, Facebook will be investing in consumer research, especially on how consumers use its product. This will enable it tailor its services to potential advertisers in a better way.

The company is also considering testing a new phone call-based ad format in Africa, similar to the one it launched in India earlier this year.

“As people spend more time on the Internet, I think that’s a great opportunity for businesses, for advertisers, and in turn for Facebook,” Mendelsohn said.

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