Government of India Urges Facebook to Expand Operations

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Office in Palo Alto

There’s a fascinating story being reported by The Hindu that India’s Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy at Andhra Pradesh (where Facebook’s India office is located) urged Facebook to expand its operations to tier-two cities at a Facebook India party yesterday. The party was held to celebrate the company’s one year of operation in the country.

If Facebook India follows suit, the government of India is willing to provide full support in its expansion. Currently Facebook India is about 100-employees strong with diverse operational roles including sales, finance, and human resources. The service is also currently available in seven local languages in India, namely Hindi, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, Bengali, Malayalam and Nepali.

The report didn’t state the reasons for Reddy’s request, but it seems logical to assume that the government might have plans to boost the country’s Internet penetration rate in tier two cities via Zuckerberg & Co.

Image courtesy of Flockpost

Facebook’s presence is huge in India. Out of 80 million Internet users, 28 million of them are on Facebook. That’s almost four out of every ten Indian Internet users.

The presence of the popular social network, coupled with localized languages would likely spur Internet adoption, assuming that the government has set up proper network infrastructure for citizens. Of course, setting up offices in tier two cities would also help increase employment rates, ostensibly boosting the country’s economy as well.

India is currently the fifth largest Facebook nation in terms of user count and it is predicated to become the second largest by 2012.

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