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Facebook To Increase Staff Numbers By 50 Percent By End 2009

Social networking website Facebook is bucking the trend when it comes to shedding away staff as it is embarking on a recruitment spree that will see the number of staff employed by the company increase by 50 percent.

Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, has told Bloomberg (opens in new tab) in an interview that he wants to the company to reach around 1500 employees by the end of the year, up from 1000 at current levels.

The current recession has hit Silicon Valley very hard which means that there are a number of talented engineers and developers readily available; A pool of extraordinarily capable people that Facebook wants to tap in in its quest for world domination. Google doubled its number of employees every year from 2005 onwards before the recruitment drive came to a halt late last year.

The social networking website has just completed the acquisition of social aggregator Friendfeed for an undisclosed sum and is known to have been very aggressive at recruiting former Google employees.

By some estimates, between 5 to 10 percent of Facebook employees come from Google or have worked there in the past. More significantly many of them, like Paul Buchheit, who co-founded Friendfeed and coined Google's legendary Motto, "Don't be Evil", worked at senior management level and steered the search engine giant during the years when it grew from being a startup to become a powerhouse.

Zuckerberg also candidly admitted during the interview that it wants to reach a billion users soon; Facebook currently has more than 250 million active users worldwide.

Our Comments

Growing by employees is a great PR for Facebook. It sends a powerful message to rest of the tech community worldwide. Facebook knows that no one else is hiring right now and the fact that its revenues is growing at 70 percent per annum means that it is now a force to be reckoned with.

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Désiré Athow
Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.