The timing could not have been better. Three days ago we reported how Facebook surpassed Orkut to become the top social networking site in India and now it has opened up its office in Hyderabad, the pearl city of India. Though the official launch date will be in September, it has already decided the Management team to head the India office. Facebook Hyderabad is Facebook’s first office in Asia and second International office, after Dublin, Ireland. Earlier, Facebook has unveiled its plans to setup another office at Austin, Texas. Both these offices are supposed to supplement the support teams stationed at Palo Alto, California, and Dublin.[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ewPS7OdSj0[/youtube]
The Social networking major has witnessed a major surge in number of users in recent times. With an excess of 500 million users, it is estimated that Facebook is accessed in more than 70 languages and almost seventy percent of users are based outside the US. Looking at the pace of growth, it makes perfect sense for the company to have multiple support centers in multiple time-zones to provide better multi-lingual support, round the clock.
Indian point of view
The move to set up an office here corroborates the growing importance of India in Facebook’s expansion strategy. And rightly so, India has seventh largest market worldwide for social networking. Moreover, a rich talent base out here allows Facebook to cater to the increasing number of users, advertisers and developers in a localized and speedier way. It also gives an opportunity to capitalize on the booming advertisement industry of the Indian subcontinent.
Google already has an office in Hyderabad and now with Facebook’s setup in the same city, the competition has become more interesting. Both of them would like to utilize the opportunities (both in terms of talent and capital) which this country has to offer. Clearly, the game has now shifted to Indian grounds and the side which handles this Indian pressure (or Indian heat) might turn out to be the winner.
So what do you think – Is Facebook ready enough to take on the Indian challenge?