Facebook’s Vice President of Asia Pacific Dan Neary was in Jakarta to announce the opening of Facebook’s new office at Pacific Place just a day after Twitter’s head of content for Asia Pacific Christel Quek said that the company may open an office in the city one day.
“It’s very exciting because when we look at Indonesia, it’s one of our priority market for expansion, so it’s exciting to think about how we’re going to grow that business over time”, Neary said.
With 65 million accounts from Indonesia, the country is Facebook’s fourth largest market and it has turned Facebook into the country’s top e-commerce site, despite being primarily a social network.
“When we look at the economic impact, the number one e-commerce website in all of Indonesia is actually Facebook. And so SME’s are inextricably linked to the digital economy and we think we’re a good way to help promote that. It’s good for the economy, it’s good for continuing to connect with the rest of the country” added Neary.
In today’s democratized Indonesia, politicians who don’t have a presence on Facebook, or any other social network, are less known, not to mention less trusted.
Facebook’s communications platforms, through Messenger and Whatsapp, are the in thing in Indonesia’s mobile carriers as they contribute to their dwindling revenue. At the same time they enable people to communicate over long distance far more economically than over traditional voice and SMS methods thanks to affordable data packages and Facebook specific packages, so there’s clearly a lot to be discussed between Facebook and the carriers.
Neary admitted that there are currently various regulations regarding communications that are being prepared by the Indonesians government and that Facebook’s physical presence should come a long way to allow for easier discussions and feedback on that matter.
Facebook currently has a handful of employees based in Jakarta and the current office set up at Pacific Place is most certainly a shared office, similar to when Yahoo and Google first established their local presence.