Facebook has opened its first office in Africa, acknowledging the importance of emerging markets in growing its user base.
Opening in Johannesburg, South Africa, the new office will be run by Nunu Ntshingila, a veteran of Ogilvy who now holds the title of Facebook’s Africa head.
Since September 2014, Facebook’s African user base has grown by 20% from 100 million to 120 million. More than 80% of active users access the social network via a mobile device.
The social media giant is looking to strengthen its foothold in key African markets such as Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa, and has stated its intention to “help businesses connect with people and grow locally and regionally”.
Nicola Mendelsohn, VP, EMEA, Facebook, said: “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.”
The company is also planning to develop and deliver localised offerings to both consumers and businesses through partnerships with operators, governments and agencies. The firm described its ambition to create metrics and solutions appropriate to the “mobile-first, mobile-only” Internet access typical to African users.