Growing social media company TikTok will see its headcount in Ireland reach more than 1,000 by the end of January.
TikTok has announced plans to add 200 new roles in the coming months at its base in Dublin, which was established earlier this year.
In January, TikTok’s EMEA trust and safety hub in Dublin started out with 20 staff. Since then, the team has grown to more than 900 people leading the company’s user safety strategy in Europe.
“While our initial focus was on establishing and growing this hub, Ireland is an important centre for more than just trust and safety,” said Cormac Keenan, head of trust and safety at TikTok.
The additional 200 roles will be filled over the next three months, with the company’s total headcount in Ireland set to reach more than 1,100 by the end of January 2021.
“These are high-quality jobs, but more specifically, they are aimed at ensuring that people can use the app safely while upholding the highest data protection standards,” said Taoiseach Micheál Martin, who welcomed the announcement from TikTok.
“TikTok is an amazing success story, made even more remarkable by the short period of time in which it has been operational,” Martin added. “Its rise globally has been mirrored by its impressive growth in Ireland.”
TikTok around the world
TikTok is owned by ByteDance, the Chinese company behind the popular short-form video-sharing app. More than 100m people in Europe are now active on TikTok every month, and this summer the responsibility of managing this user data was shifted to the company’s Irish and UK entities from the US.
The company has faced pressure to sell off its US business in recent months, fuelled by US president Donald Trump’s distrust of the Chinese-owned company. In September, it seemed that Oracle and Walmart were set to become part owners of a newly formed TikTok Global business, but that deal is yet to be finalised. On Tuesday (10 November), TikTok petitioned a federal appeals court in the US to halt the enforcement of the president’s executive order, which would require that the sale be closed by Thursday.
Keenan said today (11 November) that TikTok’s Dublin hub sits alongside its Mountain View base in the US and its Singapore office as one of three regional centres designed to further its localised approach to content policy.
“The goal of this team in Dublin is to ensure our overall approach complements local culture and context, and work closely with regional regulators, policymakers, government and law enforcement agencies in pursuit of the highest standard of user safety possible.”
Keenan also said that the Irish operation will be key in expanding commercial business for TikTok, which is yet to take off with advertisers to the same extent it has with users.
“We believe that SMBs are the backbone of the global economy and the engines of growth in Europe. Ireland is the designated hub of our European SMB business, with a head of SMB and expanding team dedicated to supporting businesses to engage the TikTok community and grow their business,” he said.
Growth in Ireland
TikTok has also announced plans to build a €420m data centre in Ireland, making the country the home of its European user data. This project is set for completion in 2022 and is expected to create hundreds of jobs in the process.
“In less than a year, Ireland has rapidly become a vital centre for both our European and global operations,” said Vanessa Pappas, interim head of TikTok.
“Its strong pool of skilled and diverse talent, booming digital and technology sector, and rich heritage of arts and culture, make it such an attractive base for a platform that prides itself on being an inclusive home for creative expression.”
Pappas also complimented the high-quality team assembled in Ireland and said their leadership in safety, privacy, data protection and commercialisation is critical to the company’s continued growth and expansion.