Facebook Sets up Office in India

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Social networking company Facebook said on Monday that it is setting up an office in Hyderabad in southern India. The new office will have online sales and operations teams, said Don Faul, a director of global online operations at Facebook, in a posting on the official Facebook blog.

Facebook will start with a small initial team in Hyderabad, which will include e

xperts on the Facebook product to help users with their questions, and specialists in online advertising to help advertisers, the company said in a statement issued separately on Monday.

The company said last week that it was setting up an office in Austin, Texas. Both the new offices will allow the company to better serve Facebook's more than 400 million users, besides advertisers and developers, Faul said.

By having support centers in a variety of time zones, Facebook can provide better around-the-clock, multilingual support, he added.

The company is seeing significant international expansion, with 70 percent of the people using Facebook outside the U.S., accessing the service in more than 70 languages. More than 8 million people use Facebook in India, Faul said.

The new operations centers in Austin and Hyderabad will supplement the company's support teams at its headquarters in Palo Alto, California, and in Dublin, Ireland. The Hyderabad office is Facebook's first in Asia.

In India, Facebook is ahead of Google's Orkut social networking site according to Web traffic monitoring service Alexa.

Zynga, a developer of games like FarmVille, for social networking sites including Facebook, recently set up a product development center in Bangalore.

Facebook does not, however, have plans to move parts of its engineering and product development from Palo Alto to India. "We have no plans to base product managers or engineers in Hyderabad at this time," the statement said.

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