Facebook to double staff in Dubai to catch up with increasingly mobile Arab youth

arab-genc-youthArab youth promises a lot for the global tech companies with its fast growing population spanning a vast area in the Middle East and North Africa. It’s definitely the case for Facebook whose user base has almost reached the saturation in the west. Fully aware of the potential, the social network is now doubling its staff and resources in its Dubai office to cater better to its upcoming young clientele in the region.

Nicola Mendelsohn, Facebook’s vice-president for Europe, Middle East and Africa, told Arabian Business that the company aims to boost Facebook’s popularity among one of the fastest growing populations in the world, and therefore, is expanding the size of its regional headquarters in Dubai. She said the enlargement includes new senior management as well.

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Facebook buys Finnish mobile data planning firm Pryte

pryte-logoFacebook has announced that it acquires fresh Finnish startup Pryte who develops a kind of ‘pay-as-you-go’ system for data which may make it easier for mobile users in less developed parts of the world to use apps. The deal whose financial terms have not been disclosed is expected to close in late-June.

Founded in 2003 in Finland by a team of telecom and internet veterans with nobel ideas in mind, Pryte works on a system which let users enjoy basic apps everyday without depending so much on their mobile data plans. Pryte’s technology allows single-click buying of mobile data on a need or per app basis.

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Facebook wants EU to probe its WhatsApp acquisition

whatsapp-facebook-EUFacebook has contacted European Union authorities to ask for an antitrust probe for its very own $16+3 billion WhatsApp acquisition, according to the WSJ. The move looks like a tactical one as the transaction is huge and historic and Facebook may feel obliged to take preventive steps against a future widespread probe wave in multiple member countries.

The deal has created discomfort among Europe’s telecom giants who suddenly saw influential Facebook as a rival in messaging business. They believe that WhatsApp, which offers extremely cheap (in some cases, free) text and picture messaging through Wi-Fi and 3G connection, may be used by Facebook to elevate its position in the EU market to a dominant position and eventually may harm big telecoms’ relevant businesses and the economy.

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Facebook adds content restrictions to its 2nd Government Request Report

Facebook-Government-RequestsFacebook has released the second of its semi-annual Government Requests Reports revealing the nature and extent of government requests Facebook received and how it responded to them.

Covering the second half of 2013, the new report now includes information ‘not only about government requests for account information, but also about government requests to restrict or remove content from the service on the grounds that it violates local law’, the blog post reads.

According to the report, India ranked first in the requests for the removal or restriction of content, with 4765 applications. Turkey comes second with 2014 requests. These two countries are far ahead of the rest of the world in censorship. Pakistan, for example, comes third in the list with just 162 requests.

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Why Flipboard may be the next in Facebook’s acquisition calendar

Flipboard-vs-Facebook-webrazziHypothesis 1: Facebook has almost reached saturation in its user base (with almost 1.2 billion members as of today) whereas WhatsApp is on a fast growth track that, as Mark Zuckerberg puts it, “dwarfs anything we have seen”.
Hypothesis 2: Aiming to be the ultimate platform for the entire web experience, Facebook has no other way but growing organically on mobile and other verticals.

In the light of the above hypotheses, Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp for a staggering $16+3 billion may in fact seem rather reasonable. Though some do not agree, Zuckerberg’s depiction of the figure as “incredible” is quite right. The addition of 450 million messaging users to Facebook’s mobile realm is pretty incredible, especially when FB Messenger has so far failed to get the attention of the masses.

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Yandex search results to display Facebook content

yandexscreenRussian internet company Yandex has agreed with Facebook to get full access to social network’s ‘firehose’ of public data. Starting today, public content from Facebook users in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, other CIS countries and Turkey will be visible in Yandex searches as soon as the social content gets published. Indexed entries will soon include other users’ comments on the posts as well.

Yandex says the agreement is non-cash and based on mutual benefits. In Russia, where Yandex dominates the search market with around 60% share, Facebook lags far behind local giant Vkontakte in social networking. The agreement has the prospects of boosting its usage in the country.

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Christian H. Gallardo Talked About ‘The Power of the Graph’ı in Webrazzi Summit

The last guest of Webrazzi Summit 2011 was Christian Hernandez Gallardo, Facebook’s Head of International Business Development. Gallardo mentioned about the power of Facebook’s social network structure and Turkey’s interest in Facebook in his speech titled “The Power of the Graph”.

Gallardo told Turkey’s large internet ecosystem has been further highlighted with global investment companies showing interest in our country, mentioning Three F for Turkey.

Gallardo said Family, Football Teams and Facebook is important to Turkey, and he included Fenerbahçe-Galatasaray game on Facebook in his speech.

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Facebook Platform forms the frame of Social Internet

I attended the Facebok Platform sessions at Webrazzi Summit which have been going on at a fast pace. During these sessions, where the live broadcast is done quite smoothly if you ask me, the Facebook team provided quite significant facts with nice presentations.

Facebook Platform

Firstly, Amina Belghiti introduced the Facebook platform. She talked about the positioning of Facebook and underlined its effectiveness on managing our virtual community. Then, she went on to detailing the Facebook Platform.

Explaining that Facebook Platform consists of the data, tools and the products which socialize the companies, Belghiti expressed that this platform mean traffic, interaction and money. She further said that Facebook platform is based on a social design.

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FriendFeed’s Destiny is in the Hands of Turkish Internet Users

FriendFeed has been standing by itself since it was acquired by Facebook in August 2009 and naturally it has lost the users’ interest once it had. Now there is one country supporting globally. And this country is, yes you are right, Turkey.

Facebook had stated that it acquired FriendFeed as an investment in its human sources, and both FriendFeed’s founders and Facebook CEO Bret Taylor had said that Facebook would not make any improvements to FriendFeed. Webrazzi’s guest author, Nazım Kaya did an interview with Bret Taylor, who stated that he has read our articles on FriendFeed. You can click this link to read Nazım Kaya’s interview with Bret Taylor done in October.

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comScore’s Video Metrix Turkey Report: We Watch More Videos on Facebook Than on YouTube!

The Turkey report by Video Metrix, the video measurement service of comScore, is now released. The report says that Facebook is the web site where most videos are viewed in Turkey. Google sites come next.

Having launched its first services in the USA four years ago, Video Metrix provides measurement of online videos and has recently released its first report on Turkish market. The first Video Metrix Turkey report indicates that 20.2 million single viewers watched 3 billion videos in February this year.

According to this report which puts forward very significant data, approximately 17 million Facebook users watched approximately 800 million videos in February. This points out that 46.6 videos on average are watched by a single user per month.

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