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No need to localise Facebook, it is personalised for users: Sandberg

Facebook now considers India its second largest market as far as users are considered after the US.

Written by Nandagopal Rajan | New Delhi |
July 3, 2014 12:51:12 am

If you thought Facebook becoming popular in India would mean a very localised version of the world’s most popular social network, you are mistaken.

“Facebook is already personalised for the individual, so the content Indian users see here is already Indian. So we don’t need to do a lot of localisation of content,” Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg on Wednesday told

Facebook now considers India its second largest market as far as users are considered after the US. “In the US we are by far the number one mobile app, bigger than the next seven combined,” she said, adding that while Facebook has been able to cover a large portion of the US population, it does not represent a large section of the population here even with a 100 million users.

“This means there is such huge opportunity for growth here,” told a select gathering of journalists in New Delhi.

She said Facebook already reaches four times more people than the most popular TV show in India.

Sandberg said Facebook had no intention of launching a smartphone as speculated. “We are the number one thing people do on their phones. I don’t think we need to do hardware. We are doing very well with the software,” she said. Facebook is the leading mobile application in almost every single market it was in, she added.

“Our mission is to connect the world. Not only do we want to connect every person to every person, we also want to enable commerce,” she said, adding that during her trip to India she has been talking to different stakeholders on how they can do “personalisation at scale” for marketing.

Incidentally, Sandberg, who has worked for Google as well as the United States Secretary of the Treasury, started her career in India in 1991 as part of a World Bank project on leprosy in Madhya Pradesh. “There were 3-4 million leprosy cases when I was last here, now there are less than a 100,000,” she said, adding this underlined the resilience of the Indian people.

Facebook probed by Britain over mood experiment

London: British authorities will question Facebook over an experiment in which the social network secretly manipulated the feelings of users to test their mood, officials said Wednesday.

Facebook tampered with the system used to create news feeds for 700,000 users to test “emotional contagion” for one week in 2012 without their knowledge. It did not seek explicit consent beforehand, but claims its Terms of Service contract with users permits blanket “research”.

The Information Commissioner’s Office, Britain’s independent data watchdog, said it is looking into the case. PTI

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