Facebook Opens First Africa Office & Hits 120M Users In The Continent
I received a press release earlier this evening that announced that Facebook has opened its very first office in Africa at the swanky Melrose Arch area of Johannesburg, South Africa. Facebook’s newest business office will be headed by Ogilvy veteran, Nunu Ntshingila, the company’s new Head of Africa.
This move confirms what we have known for sometime now – that Facebook is incredibly popular with the continent’s many ‘mobile-first’ Internet users. As Facebook and other Internet behemoths like Google seek to ‘on-board’ the next billion Internet users, Africa will increasingly play an important role in their plans for global domination (pun intended).
In terms of growth, it was back in September 2014 that Techcrunch reported here that Facebook had 100 million users in Africa which represented approximately 50% of ALL Internet users throughout the continent. In addition, 80% of Facebook usage in Africa happens unsurprisingly(?) via mobile devices. The latest metrics from the press release indicate that Facebook now has 120 million users in Africa meaning that uptake has grown by over 20% in less than a year – Facebook is growing like a proverbial weed in the so-called dark continent.
The new Facebook office will support the significant growth in businesses and people using Facebook in Africa as its core mandate. This will include on growing its business in key markets countries in Sub Saharan Africa such as Kenya (East Africa), Nigeria (West Africa), and South Africa (Southern Africa) as well as other supported territories including Senegal, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, Zambia, Mozambique and Ethiopia.
Facebook is also expected to partner with African governments, telecom operators, agencies and other stakeholders to deliver localised solutions to advertisers and users continent-wide. It will continue to focus on tailoring solutions, metrics and ad formats to the needs of customers and advertisers in the mobile-first, mobile-only African environment.