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Monday, 8 September 2014

Facebook to Open Office in Africa By 2015

One in 10 Africans are logging on to Facebook every month, the world's No.1 online social network said on Monday, presenting a new target audience for advertisers. Of those 100 million people, 80 percent are accessing the platform via mobiles on a continent with very low internet penetration and smartphone ownership, it said. Facebook has more than 1.5 million active advertisers and more than 1.3 billion active users globally.

"There is a fantastic opportunity for business as well if you are local or a global business. Knowing that there is all these people now in Africa that you can connect with, that is exciting as well," said Nicola Mendelsohn, Facebook's vice president for Europe, Middle East and Africa. Facebook would be pouring more resources into Africa to understand how consumers use its product and was considering opening an office on the continent in 2015, Mendelsohn said, without saying where the office might be.

The company is customising products to fit the needs of individual countries, she added. For example, it can now target users based on their internet speeds. Nigeria, South Africa and Egypt are Facebook’s largest market in sub-Saharan Africa. 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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