Facebook considers SA office –

Facebook considers SA office – as site goes down globally

The ews of Facebook’s potential expansion into Africa coincides with a major social media blackout lasting over 30 minutes

Facebook considers SA office –


Reports surfaced this week saying that social media frontrunner Facebook may consider opening a base in South Africa to expand its operations on the African continent. But the social media conglomerate may have to streamline its services before increasing its reach, as a glitch shut the site down for over half an hour just one day after announcing the potential expansion plans.

The seemingly unstoppable success story of Facebook came to a momentary halt this week on 19th June 2014, when a system “blackout” caused the website to crash for over 30 minutes, affecting both the website and its various apps as well as extensions across the globe. It is believed to be Facebook’s first global outage; a previous blackout in 2010 had affected the United States only, lasting for over two hours.

During the blackout, social media rival Twitter witnessed an unsurpassed surge in traffic on its platform, proving that there is still ample room for social media to develop in entirely unpredictable ways.

One of the highest trending handles on Twitter during the time was #facebookdown. Facebook, which also has an active company profile on Twitter, did not respond publicly to the site being down, but quickly became subject to much ridicule, turning into one of the highest-tagged profiles on that morning.


Global advertisers were naturally affected by the outage as well, missing out on much exposure and the related traffic considerations which they had paid for, while Facebook itself is expected to have lost up to half a million US dollars of ad revenue (based on ad sale numbers from Q2 of 2013), which the company would otherwise have generated during the time period of the blackout.

Facebook had recently reported 11 million users in South Africa alone each month, with a potential to double these numbers within a few years’ time, as smartphones are now becoming increasingly accessible to a wider base of the public to go on the internet. Most Facebook users in South Africa were reported to access the social media giant at least twice daily (chiefly on smartphone apps) despite the fact that reliable mobile internet access remains an ongoing challenge in wide parts of the country.

In sub-Saharan Africa at large, current Facebook user numbers remain above a mark of 50 million, with massive opportunities for growth, especially in Nigeria. In the last six months alone, the company reported a growth of 23 percent in the entire region, hoping to continue the trend – provided that further glitches and outages are contained to a minimum.

Facebook’s spokesman for African operations, Iain MacKenzie, spoke confidently to Fin24 about the company’s expansion plans:

“Yes, we are definitely increasing our focus. The team is currently based in Dubai, but we hope to have an office [in Africa] soon.”

By Sertan Sanderson, 2014