(with inputs from Nikhil Pahwa)
Facebook has announced that they will open an office in India, in Hyderabad. While the company claims that it has 8 million users from India (according to Facebook advertising, 6,483,100 are 18 years and above), it appears that this move is essentially to support the Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto, California, and Dublin, Ireland. The company is hiring professionals for its online sales and operations. It’s not clear whether Facebook, like Google and Yahoo before it, intends to expand its operations to service India.

The company has been active in inking deals in India, with mobile operators and and handset manufacturers leveraging the Facebook brand for pushing handsets and services, and media companies integrating with Facebook for big ticket events like the Indian budget, the Oscars, among others; users commenting on the live-streaming leads to updates on Facebook, and draws more traffic to the live stream. Indiagames recently tied up with the company for their IPLT20 game which works only with a Facebook login.

Don Faul, Director of Global Online Operations for Facebook has written in a blog post that “We expect our new office in Hyderabad to tap into the region’s strong pool of talented people who understand operations and technology, and help us more effectively serve the needs of our users, advertisers, and developers around the world.” Sounds like a back-0ffice operation to me. WatBlog had written a week ago about one of STAR News’ Facebook Fan pages being arbitrarily removed, and the News Corp owned TV company being unable to contact anyone at Facebook. I don’t think the Hyderabad office will service that need, but we’ll check with Facebook and update.

Related:
RCOM Launches Socially With Unlimited Access To Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn
Farmville Creator Zynga Sets Up Centre In Bangalore
Budget 2010: ET Now-Facebook, NDTV Profit, Business Standard & India Today
PayPal To Power Facebook Payments For Ads & Credits