“One of the objectives of why we set up the office here is to better serve...businesses,” Dan Neary, vice-president for Asia-Pacific of Facebook, said during Thursday’s launch at Shooting Gallery Studios in Makati.

Mr. Neary noted Southeast Asia is the fastest growing region for the company with the Philippines playing a large role in the said growth.

Based on its internal data as of Dec. 2015, more than 49 million Filipinos use Facebook every month, representing 91% of Internet users in the country. Of the total, more than 27 million check Facebook every day.

More than 44 million or 90% of Filipino users also access the site monthly using their mobile devices, while more than 24 million access Facebook daily on mobile.

To compare, Facebook reported 1.59 billion monthly active users, of which 65% check the site every day. In Southeast Asia, Facebook data showed more than 241 million people use the site every month, while over 144 million use it everyday.

Mr. Neary kept mum on details of its Manila office, although he did say the move included a “significant investment.”

The Manila team, he said, will be targeting “agencies, large businesses... and small and medium-sized businesses as well” to encourage them to leverage on Facebook services to supplement their marketing efforts.

The company noted more than 32 million Filipino Facebook users are connected to a “business page.” It also cited a TNS survey dated March 2016 that showed 95% of Filipino Facebook users discover new products and brands on the platform, and of which 64% have made a purchase.

Even with its Manila office, Mr. Neary said this does not guarantee that there will be faster roll-out of new Facebook services, such as “chatbots,” in the Philippines. Launched on April 12, chatbots are automated programs on the Messenger app aimed at improving customer service by helping users communicate better with businesses.

However, he said that having a team in the Philippines will give the Filipino Facebook community “more of a voice” on what they want and need from the social networking site.

Facebook also announced the appointment of Digs Dimagiba, the former mobile business director for Samsung Electronics in the Philippines, as the head of Philippines for Facebook. 

In the Philippines, more than 49-million people use Facebook every month, representing 91% of internet users in the country. More than 27-million return to Facebook every day. Globally, Filipinos are among the heaviest users of social networks, spending 1.7x more time on Facebook and Instagram than watching TV.

With the Philippines playing a large role in driving the growth in Southeast Asia, Facebook has opened a Philippine office, signifying its commitment to help connect people with the businesses and moments that matter to them.

In his presentation, Facebook VP for Asia-Pacific Dan Neary (right in top photo) pointed out that with 91% of internet users in the Philippines on Facebook, there is an unprecedented opportunity for businesses to reach Filipino netizens.
Some other interesting data:

Heading Facebook Philippines is Digs Dimagiba (left in top photo), who has 18 years of experience across Asia, having served as mobile business director for Samsung Electronics in the Philippines. Prior to that, he held various leadership roles at Unilever. INTERNET giant Facebook on Thursday officially opened its Manila office, as the tech giant seeks to connect its more than 49 million Filipino users not just with friends and family but with businesses as well.



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