Facebook has decided to capitalize on the rapid growth of the social network in Africa. According to Re/code, the social network is set to open a business office in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The office will be run by advertising guru, Nunu Ntshingila who is the chairman of Ogilvy South Africa. It plans to hire 25 more employees . The employees will all be focused on business and advertising. The office will help Facebook attract small businesses in Africa to advertise on the social network. It hopes to learn more about the online advertising ecosystem in Africa.
Africa has about 120 million Facebook monthly users. Although the continent remains largely unconnected, Facebook’s user base in Africa has been increasing at a rate faster than Facebook’s worldwide user base is expanding.
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Through it’s internet.org initiative Facebook has been providing free internet access in several African countries. Although Zimbabwe isn’t part of the internet.org initiative, it was one of the first 8 countries to try out the Facebook Lite, which allows users of the internet in emerging markets to access the social network at a fraction of the cost. It was officially launched for Asia and parts of Africa earlier this month.
The African continent presents a lot of opportunities for social media. Most people access on the continent access Facebook via mobile phones. The growing user base and increasing internet connectivity means that brands advertising on Facebook can reach out to more people in Africa. It also means big business for Facebook as it cashes-in on ad-revenue from big brands and small businesses.
Maybe our local vendors will be advertising on social media some day, only time will tell.