Facebook is doubling its resources in Dubai, including new senior management, as it aims to boost the social media network’s popularity among one of the fastest growing populations in the world – Arab youth.
There are now 71 million Facebook users in the Middle East and North Africa, the company told Arabian Business.
The figure has grown by 9 million users – counted by the number of individuals that log in at least once in a month – so far this year.
More than 70% of users log in on a mobile device.
”It’s such an important region and such an important hub,” Facebook vice-president Europe, Middle East and Africa Nicola Mendelsohn told Arabian Business in an exclusive interview to be published in the magazine on Sunday.
”We’re doubling our resources in Dubai. Over the last few months we’ve brought in a lot more senior people to work with us across a number of different areas and to work with the businesses in the region.”
Mendelsohn said the network also wanted to increase business presence on the site, including advertising, which is the company’s main source of revenue and earned it about $2.9 billion during the second quarter.
”In the MENA there’s 71 million people that are coming on every month. That’s a lot of people and I think businesses have always wanted to go where people are and people are on Facebook so that’s why we’ve had to make sure that we can create that bridge so that businesses can get on Facebook, with all the people that are there so much of the day, every day,” she said.
Mendelsohn said Facebook also was playing a key role helping start-ups boost their profile in communities, particularly in MENA, where millions of jobs are needed to accommodate the increasing youth population.
”I think there’s a massive role to be played in developing businesses, and small businesses in particular – we see this all over the world,” she said.
”The thing that’s going to help generate economic growth isn’t big business, it’s lots and lots of small businesses, and I think there’s an amazing opportunity for this region and for the youth in this region, where there is high youth unemployment, to become more entrepreneurial, to use platforms like Facebook to create businesses here and take them out to the world, and to establish what it means to be part of the Middle East, what it means to be part of Africa, with all the cultures and new products and different services that it has and how that can go out to the world.
”So I hope Facebook can play a small part in helping to generate, stimulate economies of the future in the region.”