SOCIAL networking giant Facebook announced plans to double its Irish operations yesterday at the official opening of its European headquarters in Dublin.
The company has been stationed in the city since last October and its workforce has grown to more than 70 employees.
That figure is set to double by the end of next year, with management planning to scale up business across Europe, the Middle East and Africa from its Hanover Quay base.
Facebook will also be introducing new finance, human resources, legal and product marketing departments to its offices in the capital.
Tánaiste Mary Coughlan welcomed the expansion and said it was down to the country’s pool of skills and talent.
“We have the best in the world here in Dublin and in Ireland, and adding to that portfolio here today is hugely, hugely important,” she said.
“It is a fabulous endorsement that Ireland can satisfy the needs of such highly innovative and technologically advanced companies as they make critical investments.”
But the Tánaiste admitted that she was not in possession of her own Facebook page.
“You must be joking. Would I trust you guys?” she told reporters attending the launch.
“That’s no reflection on the company — you should ask my daughter,” Ms Coughlan quickly added.
Colm Long, Facebook’s director of online operations said the company had been impressed by the Government’s “make it all happen, can-do attitude” when setting up in Ireland.
“The ease of doing business here in Ireland was a very big factor for us. We knew we had a very business-friendly place to work,” he added.
Mr Long, who is originally from Derry, insisted the social networking website was not just another online fad.
“We have over one million users in Ireland and we’ve grown to over 300 million users worldwide — I think it’s surpassed everybody’s expectations in terms of growth,” he said.
“We put it down to the product itself and the authenticity of the product — the fact that you are who you say you are on Facebook.”
Recruitment for the new positions has already begun, with application forms available on the website.
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