Interview with Facebook’s head of small business Dan Levy (video)

13 Dec 2012

Dan Levy, Facebook's director of small business

Facebook’s head of small business Dan Levy was in Dublin yesterday at the social network’s international headquarters, where the company now employs 450 people. The Facebook economy – the ecosystem of apps, advertising and services – contributed €397.2m to the European economy last year, out of which €165.7m went directly into the Irish economy.

Based in Facebook’s Menlo Park, California, headquarters in Silicon Valley, Levy heads up an area of expanding interest to Facebook – enabling ordinary and small businesses across the world to use the 1bn-strong social network to sell goods and services.

At a briefing in Dublin yesterday, Levy explained how small businesses will spearhead the global economy and Facebook aims to provide a springboard for businesses to win customers. He said many new businesses starting out today will most likely have a Facebook presence in advance of an actual webpage.

The Facebook infrastructure, he said, allows businesses to scale their online efforts at their own pace with authenticity and simplicity at the core. “The simpler we can keep it for small businesses the better, while still giving them the power to do whatever they want to do.”

Building the Facebook economy:

The social network supports 4,500 jobs in Europe, 800 of which are the result of small businesses using Facebook as a platform for growth. In Ireland, Facebook supports 2,200 jobs, out of which 450 people are employed directly by the company.

Levy explained that the number of local business pages advertising on Facebook has nearly doubled since January and that active local pages have increased 40pc since January. More than a quarter of the businesses are new advertisers on the social network.

According to Levy, some 150m people visit Facebook business-owned pages every day and highlighted that the news feed isn’t the only way they’re visiting the pages.

Levy said that since Facebook launched the pages manager app for mobile devices six months ago, some 3m page owners are using the mobile admin app to advertise on the go.

Levy said 14pc of advertising in the third quarter on Facebook of this year was from mobile.

“We have 600m Facebook users on mobile devices. We have moved from having no mobile revenues six months ago to 14pc today,” he said.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years