Facebook’s chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg announced Thursday that the company has opened its first office in Thailand, as it looks to lay deeper roots in Asia.
In June, it was revealed that Facebook earns as much as 51 percent of its ad revenue overseas, with fastest growth in mobile-first Asia.
At the time, the company’s vice president of global marketing solutions, Carolyn Everson, told Reuters that “the next one billion consumers are going to come from [Asian] countries.”
In her announcement, Sandberg said, “Every month, 34 million Thais use Facebook to connect — and they post three times more than the global average. From local NGOs seeking donors to small businesses seeking customers, people across Thailand use Facebook to stay connected to the things that matter.”
Thailand’s digital advertising space is estimated to be worth more than $280 million this year, according to Bangkok Post. So it’s no surprise that Facebook wants to be better positioned to capture some of that spend.
Meanwhile, Thailand is Facebook’s ninth-largest country, boasting 37 million users, according to social media monitoring service Zocial.
The Post also claims that Thais are the most active social media users in Southeast Asia, spending an average of 2.35 hours per day on Facebook — one and a half times more time than they spend watching TV.
Sandberg highlights one Thai female entrepreneur as an example of the platform’s growth in the country, and how it’s enabling small businesses to communicate with customers and fulfill orders.
“In less than four years, JQ Seafood has grown from one to 19 kitchens,” she said. “Entrepreneurs like Sureerat [Sriphromkam] are everywhere in Thailand – from the bustling street markets to the incredible malls – and we want to create more opportunities for them.”
Facebook has been busy this week, from starting work on a new button to express sentiments other than “like,” to launching a service for journalists called Signal that helps them monitor activity on Facebook and Instagram.
Instagram, by the way, claims 7.1 million users in Thailand.