Facebook to double Dublin workforce to 140

27 Oct 2009

One of the internet’s fastest-growing companies, social-networking doyen Facebook, is to double employment at its Dublin EMEA headquarters to 140 people after less than a year in the city.

Social-networking giant Facebook has grown its online audience of “friends” from 100 million more than a year ago to 300 million today. It counts among its network more than 1 million Irish people – a quarter of the country’s population.

The company, started in 2004 by college student Mark Zuckerburg, is emerging as an online advertising power house and in recent months revealed it is already revenue-positive, driven by a combination of self-service advertising and active dealings with a growing array of global and local brands.

The company’s Irish offices were established to capture the rapidly growing non-US aspect of the business – some 70pc of Facebook’s users are from outside the US.

Reason to increase investment

Facebook said today it is increasing its investment in order to scale its operations across the EMEA region and support its users and advertisers as the company grows.

The company expects to double the size of its operations within the next year and is hiring across several functions, including user operations, online operations, advertising sales, advertising campaign delivery, finance and engineering. Job applications can be accessed at www.facebook.com/jobs.

Speaking at the company’s new offices on Hanover Quay in central Dublin, Facebook’s director of online operations Colm Long said the expansion has been made possible by the depth and breadth of talent available in Dublin.

It’s been a year

“It was one year ago this month that we announced we’d set up offices. No question, Ireland has proved invaluable – for us it’s all about sharing and connecting people. We decided to further invest in our headquarters to employ more people across sales, advertising and operations.

“This expansion is a culmination of hard work; we established our operation in January and have been working hard to establish our European base.

“Our partnership with the Irish Government was invaluable – their ‘make it happen, can-do’ attitude was important. On behalf of the Facebook, team we are looking forward to continuing to grow here,” Long said.

Describing Facebook’s meteoric growth so far, Long said the company’s 300 million-strong network log up around 8 billion minutes a day of online time and the company now counts tens of thousands of advertisers on the network.

“We are looking forward to continuing to grow here.”

– Facebook’s director of online operations Colm Long

Facebook’s chief financial officer David Ebersman said: “Given the global impact, it is critically important that we collaborate with users and advertisers in a way that respects unique needs.

“Our office in Ireland is the centrepiece of this commitment. We selected Ireland over a year ago based on the quality of its workforce and the commitment from the Irish Government to building a positive environment. Ireland is an important piece of our long-term strategy.”

The chief executive of IDA Ireland, Barry O’Leary, said the added investment by Facebook is an endorsement of the advantages Ireland continues to offer to global multinational companies and highlights the skills and competencies of the Irish to deliver competitive advantages in creative ways.

By John Kennedy

Photo: Colm Long, Facebook’s director of online operations.

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