Facebook is embracing its international stance by opening its first office in Africa, located in Johannesburg, South Africa. This initiative continues Facebook’s agenda to become increasingly more present in emerging markets. The new bureau will serve to boost its sales with local companies interested in investing in ads on Facebook and to boost as well interest from American corporations to start advertising to Facebook users located in Africa.
Africa is still considered a poor continent, even if its major cities are among the most expensive in the world to live in. The move is coherent with Facebook’s desire to serve places in the world that aren’t connected to the Internet through their foundation internet.org, a project to provide free Internet to poor areas of the globe.
Most people in Africa don’t have Internet access, and those who do surf it mostly on their phone, when they are not exclusively on Facebook, sometimes believing the social network is the Internet. Since people over there use feature phones, sometimes they don’t have a performant web browser and it becomes more convenient to solely use Facebook apps, as they are often better designed than their default browser, thus ignoring the rest of the web.
The mobile market is going to grow tremendously in the coming years and Facebook is at the forefront to grab new users, seeing its user base in North America and Europe growing moderately while new markets like Asia and South America are thriving. Africa is an interesting place for Facebook to keep growing its 1.4 billion user base, although there is already 120 million Africans who Facebook on a regular basis.
Facebook is counting on these emerging markets to diversify its advertising offer, that is now more that 50% based in international’s markets. Facebook’s ad revenues from North America are stagnating, and the company is counting on places like Africa to diversify from high-priced advertisement that it has to offer in The U.S. and Canada in order to grow its revenues there. New users in Africa will boost international sales and allow the social media giant to secure different revenue streams.
Also, the programming business community in Africa is very promising, with lots of talent and new companies emerging and making their way in the numeric economy. This new economy is a good way for people in Africa to get out of poverty on the ground of merit and hard work, a scenario we hope here at Noramericast will continue to come to fulfillment.
Despite all of its problems and the fact Africa is the least developed area in the world, the continent is expected to be the new hot place for developement growth and investment as there is so much to work on there and so much room to grow. #Facebook