Facebook is “sensibly planning” for growth that could double its Irish operation to 1,000 people, according to the company’s managing director for Ireland, Sonia Flynn.

“We’re definitely growing here and it’s not slowing down,” said Ms Flynn.

“We have room for 1,000 people here at our new offices and we made sure that we had that space for expansion because the business is growing very strongly.”

Facebook is believed to be considering even more office space, with the social networking giant understood to have enquired about further facilities nearby.

Rival social networking firm Twitter is also set to expand its Irish operations at a larger new office complex in Dublin’s Baggot Street.

Ms Flynn was speaking at the official opening of Facebook’s new offices in Dublin’s Grand Canal Square. She said that Facebook’s Dublin headquarters oversees policy issues, development operations, sales, finance and infrastructure engineering for all of Europe, the Middle East and Africa and parts of Asia.

Another senior Irish Facebook director, Ciaran Quilty, said the company’s Irish facility now services 30 million businesses across Europe, Africa and parts of Asia, with 1.5 million of these paying for ad space on the social network. He said that 66pc of the company’s revenue was now mobile.

“The future is unquestionably mobile for us,” said Mr Quilty. “In Ireland, for example, 1.5 million Facebook users check their feeds on mobile 11 to 14 times per day.”

The company’s European head of engineering and data centre operations, Niall McEntegart, said that the Irish operation is now responsible for ensuring that a large part of the social network’s global operation stays online.

“Our goal is for you not to know that we’re there,” he said. “But if something goes down, we’re on it immediately.”

Mr McEntegart said that Facebook now hosts 250 billion photos and that 350 million photos are added each day.

Facebook’s new expansion is the latest in a string of announcements from web firms based in Dublin which are expanding.

Last month, LinkedIn said that it could double its Irish workforce from 600 to 1,200 after announcing plans for a new corporate headquarters in Dublin that will massively increase the online firm’s presence in Ireland.


Irish Independent