Facebook has opened an ad sales office in São Paulo, Brazil that apparently will serve as the social site's headquarters for Latin America, ClickZ News has learned.
Facebook head of marketing Carolyn Everson mentioned her company's expansion in an interview with ClickZ at Cannes Lions on Wednesday. "There is a wonderful creative community happening in Brazil. We just opened our São Paulo office," she said. "That's a growing market for us."
In a follow-up email interview, spokesperson Kumiko Hidaka said, "We don't have much else to share around the office at the moment, but it's an ad sales office."
The Palo Alto, CA-based company's job board lists six sales and marketing positions based in São Paulo that appear to tell more of the story. For instance, it is hiring a sales associate to "sell, evangelize and successfully demonstrate Facebook's advertising solutions to mid-market advertising agencies and companies." In addition, under the title of director, online sales and operations, South and Latin America, Facebook is seeking someone to develop "a go to market plan and hiring teams of great people to support Facebook's advertisers."
Who else would Facebook find waiting for it in South America but Google? For Brazil in particular, the search giant owns the country's most popular social networking site in Orkut, where marketers buy ads via the Google Display Network.
According to the Facebook stats site SocialBakers, Facebook has 20 million users in Brazil. It's been estimated that Orkut has 100 million users worldwide, with more than half of them in Brazil and India. Facebook last year overtook Orkut to be the No. 1 social site in India, and it appears now to be bearing down on the Google property in Brazil.
Brazil has emerged as a hotbed for digital advertising, partially fueled by the country's role as host of the 2014 Soccer World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics.
On Tuesday, online video creator network Poptent opened its first office in São Paulo. Poptent CEO Andy Jedynak told ClickZ that he selected Brazil in part because it is "an extremely vibrant and creative marketplace," and the company wants to harness some of that energy.
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Christopher Heine was a senior writer for ClickZ through June 2012. He covered social media, sports/entertainment marketing, retail, and more. Heine's work has also appeared via Mashable, Brandweek, DM News, MarketingSherpa, and other tech- and ad-centric publications. USA Today, Bloomberg Radio, and The Los Angeles Times have cited him as an expert journalist.