Facebook has announced to open first office in Africa, located in Johannesburg. Facebook hopes that their move will strengthen its presence in developing countries of the African continent. The new office, located in Johannesburg, South Africa will be headed by Nunu Ntshingila, Ogilvy veteran. Facebook first office in Africa will initially target for sales and will try to attract local businesses to advertise on the Facebook.
Nicola Mendelsohn, VP, EMEA, Facebook said “We are inspired by the incredible ways people and businesses in Africa use Facebook to connect. This momentum in Africa comes on top of strong advertiser partnerships and excellent adoption of our products across all regions. In Q1 2015, 52% of our total ad revenue came from outside the US and Canada. But we’re just getting started.”
Steps taken by Facebook before opening its first office in Africa
Before opening the first office in Africa, Facebook has been trying to expand in Africa for the past two years, especially through the new Facebook Lite app which works better with lower-end phones and its Internet.org initiative. One of Internet.org projects is a free app which Facebook has unleashed in various developing countries of the world.
This app lets people use certain apps and websites without paying for data to provide access to online services and basic information. Facebook hopes to bring more people online by providing free basic services via the app and also help them find valuable services that they might not have otherwise.
Mendelsohn also said “One of the things that we do is work with agencies and marketers to show what best practice looks like and how they can target people in the right way that can deliver return on their business for them. That’s the thing that we care about – we care about what is the return we can give to marketers and business by using the platform.”
Facebook first office in Africa will not include Internet.org employees and they are planning to hire 25 employees in its South Africa office, all of them will reportedly be marketing professionals. Facebook will initially target on expanding its business in major countries of Sub Saharan Africa including South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya. Other supported territories include Ivory Coast, Ghana, Uganda,Tanzania, Senegal, Mozambique, Rwanda, Ethiopia and Zambia.