Sunday, December 25, 2011

Zuckerberg’s Vietnam holiday is chance to get Facebook unblocked there

Zuckerberg’s Vietnam holiday is chance to get Facebook unblocked there: Mark Zuckerberg has picked an interesting holiday destination this Christmas after choosing Vietnam, which is one of the few countries where Facebook doesn’t dominant the social networking scene, owing to it being blocked by authorities.

According to a report from Vietnamese website Tuoitre News, Zuck and girlfriend Priscilla Chan are spending the festive period in the Southeast Asian country, where they have already splashed $6,000 on a private helicopter and been photographed at tourist areas in Hanoi. Although Vietnam’s Facebook rep Huynh Kim Tuoc old media that the trip is a personal one, we can’t help but feel that Zuckerberg will use the visit as a chance to address Facebook’s issues there.

Social media is exploding in Vietnam, with the country ranked amongst the world’s ten fastest growing markets, according to a Global Voices article published earlier this year. Yet, despite the boom, Facebook faces a considerable roadblock in the country, its government.

While it is true to say that locals can still access the social network with relative ease — which has led to the censorship policy being called the Bamboo Fence, in reference to China’s Great Fire Wall — Facebook does not dominate Vietnam. A recent comScore report showed that local offering Zing Me is the top social network, suggesting that the block, albeit an easy circumvented one, is affecting Facebook’s performance operations in the country.

Certainly it seems likely that he will at least have spoken with his local team about the situation, perhaps he even tested to see how easily Facebook can be accessed there. It would certainly be a significant boost if Facebook could get authorities on its side in 2012, as it looks to break new ground and build its presence in new markets worldwide.
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