Facebook to take on Asian rivals to reach bn user mark

Social networking giant Facebook is looking to Asia & Russia as it reaches for world domination.

Hong Kong: Social networking giant Facebook
is looking to Asia and Russia as it reaches for world
domination, it was reported today.

The US-based site`s founder and chief executive Mark
Zuckerberg is eyeing China, Japan, South Korea and Russia as
it strives to be the first social network to connect a billion
people, the Financial Times reported.

"We are down to four countries that we are not the
leading social network in," he told an audience of marketers
in Cannes, France, yesterday.

"Now for the first time we are focused on doing some
specific things in specific countries."

Facebook faces stiff competition from established local
social network sites in Asia, such as Japan`s Mixi and Tencent
QQ in China. Russia is dominated by Vkontakte.

Speaking at the Cannes Lions advertising festival,
Zuckerberg did not specify whether Facebook would be
customised for these markets or whether acquisitions would be

The site has grown largely organically to build up almost
500 million members, he said, a figure he hopes to double.

"I think if we succeed," he said. "We have a good chance
of being the company that brings (social networking) to one
billion people."

Mobile networking in countries such as India is the big
driver towards this goal, he said, and the company is "pretty
close" to releasing a new mobile service rumoured to be called
"Places" which would add location data.

"India`s interesting because Internet use is relatively
small there for the size of the population," he said in a clip
on the organiser`s website.

"We are getting our first crop of countries now that,
interestingly, have more mobile usage than web usage. I think
everyone thinks that it`s only a matter of time before that
starts happening more universally."


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