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Facebook opening operations office in India

Mon, 03/15/2010 - 3:30am
ERIKA KINETZ - AP Business Writer - Associated Press

Social networking site Facebook is opening an operations office in India, its first in Asia, to help manage rapid growth in the number of users.

The office, in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad, will have advertising and developer support teams, the company said Monday. It will supplement Facebook's other centers in Palo Alto, California; Dublin, Ireland; and Austin, Texas.

The move is part of a push to create support centers across time zones, with round-the-clock, multilingual support, the company said.

The number of Facebook users has rocketed to over 400 million since it was founded in 2004.

Seventy percent of users are now outside the U.S. and use the site in over 70 languages, Don Faul, director of global online operations, said in his blog Monday.

"In India alone, we've seen rapid growth and now have more than 8 million people there actively connecting on Facebook," he said.

Faul's posting generated dozens of comments, with users from Malaysia, Turkey, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Africa asking whether Facebook might soon open offices in their countries too.

"When are you coming to Nigeria? There's much potential here and we've exceeded the one million mark!" wrote Segun Segebee Abisagbo.

One woman asked for a job.

According to its website, Facebook is hiring in the U.S., Italy, Spain, Australia, Ireland, England, France, Japan, Germany, Sweden and Canada, as well as India.

The company did not release details of the size of investment or how many people if will hire for the India office.

Hyderabad is one of India's technology hubs and a base for Google, Microsoft and IBM, among others. All three companies are hiring there, according to their websites.

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