From East-West Digital News

Facebook is actively pooling resources to develop apps with 70 to 80 Russian partners, a major leap forward from virtually no partners at all in Russia a year ago.

In an exchange with the Russian news agency RIA Novosti, Julien Codorniou, the head of partnerships at Facebook EMEA (Emerging Markets in Europe and Asia), said a number of the social network’s top managers have visited Russia to meet local developers since Mark Zuckerberg’s trip to Moscow last year, when the Facebook founder tried to woo Russian programmers to California.

This appears to have led to increased use of Russian apps on the Facebook platform. Back in April, Codorniou said Facebook had already augmented its base of mobile game developers “by a hearty 17 times over the past six months,” working with more than 50 Russian partners and spending “more time with app developers in Russia than in any other country.”

Last week he underscored that Facebook “is now watching a new generation of non-game and mobile developers” come to augment its existing partner base.

“As we’re entering a holiday season, we’re seeing an increase in tourist-focused apps and e-commerce software,” Codorniou said, giving the example of Empatika, a Russian company offering its App in the Air application.

The Facebook executive emphasized that the cross-platform approach to app development would remain the social network’s guiding principle.

“People seek cross-platform experience; for example, the successful Candy Crush Saga game [developed byKing] is available in both web and mobile versions. That’s not limited to games; the Spotify and Deezer music services are used in the same manner,” he explained, adding that Zeptolab is the sole Facebook partner in Russia developing mobile-only games.

Codorniou declined to put an actual price tag on Russian products for the network. Last year, Facebook paid out an estimated $2 billion for new games globally.

This article originally appeared in East-West Digital News, our partner isn Russia.