Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 29, 2010 02:20 PM
After telling the Cannes International Advertising Festival last week that India is not a top priority for Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg's social networking site is... setting up shop in India.
TechCrunch reports that Facebook is opening a new office in Hyderabad, their first in mainland Asia, to assure "better round-the-clock and multilingual support to its ever-increasing number of users, advertisers and third-party developers."
As Facebook notes on its blog,“The new offices come at a significant time in our international growth."
"Seventy percent of the people using Facebook are outside the U.S. and are accessing the service from more than 70 languages. In India alone, we've seen rapid growth and now have more than 8 million people there actively connecting on Facebook.”
According to India's Economic Times, Facebook’s bid to set up in Raheja Mindspace SEZ (special economic zone) was approved by the Union Government yesterday.
"The company is aggressively hiring people. Initially, they will be operating from an incubation centre in the SEZ," said a senior official of the state Information Technology Department.
Facebook has been approved to set up in 50,000 square feet of space and plans to hire 500 people to staff its first bsae in India as part of an initial $150 million investment in the country.
While 500 individuals may seem modest in the overall scheme of of its global workforce, consider that Facebook’s new offices in the U.S. will house 200 and 30 employees respectively in Austin, TX, and Seattle, WA, making the India move a very big deal indeed.
With revenues goals to surpass $1 billion this year, Facebook's new outpost in Asia’s ‘City of Pearls’ heralds even greater growth for the world’s largest social network, which is currently at 400 million-plus users.