Facebook mulls Asia expansion strategy

Social networking giant Facebook said it will consider opening sales hubs across Asia, as the region shapes up as a key market for user and advertising growth.

Speaking to Marketing, Mike Murphy (pictured), vice president of global sales, said Asia is emerging as one of its most important regions for user and client growth.

While Facebook currently uses Singapore-based ihub Media as its sales representative for Asia, Murphy said eventually it would make sense to have local offices.

"For the time being our strategy is to find a great partner, which we have with ihub and that partner will help us understand what we need to be successful," he said.

"But I think ultimately we will have offices in Asia."

With much of its growth today coming from local language translations, Murphy said Facebook is pushing hard to replicate that growth with advertisers.

He argues that unlike other forms of online advertising, marketing via social media offers brands a much more engaged experience.

"Running banner ads on a site really isn't maximising the value of having your brand online," he said.

"We believe the long term future of the social web is by marketers being part of the experience as opposed to being disruptive to the experience."

He added that Facebook is also eyeing webmail as part of its evolution.

"Webmail is somewhere between 82% to 85% of anyone who is connected online and we're far below that. We believe there is a huge opportunity to grow and we're very focused on that.

"We're still very early in our cycle, 200 million users to us is a lot but if you look at what critical mass means, we still have a ton of room to grow."