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October 17, 2012

Facebook Opens First International Engineering Center in London

By Brittany Walters-Bearden, TMCnet Contributor

The United Kingdom is making another stride towards improving its current economic conditions with the opening of the first Facebook (News - Alert) Engineering Center outside of the United States. London is swiftly becoming a world center for technology, which made the decision an easy one for Facebook, following the recent news that England would serve as the home to the first Research in Motion developer help center.

With the new London office, hopes are that better qualified engineers will want to work in and relocate to London, which is a much more enticing location than many of the other technology regions around the world. London may easily become the world’s next Silicon Valley or Seattle, as it takes strides to appeal to technology businesses, improves the availability of government data to apps developers, as well as expands superfast broadband and offers better computer science teaching. 

George Osborne, the British finance minister, is enthusiastic about Facebook’s decision, stating, “I hope it also reflects something of the work we have done as a government over the last couple of years to make this a go-to place for technology businesses.”

The country’s efforts have been effective, as many technology-based companies have been taking notice and heading to London. The initial team will be a team of twelve, headed by Philip Su, who already made the Seattle Facebook office a success.

The London location will focus on the mobile division of Facebook, which has grown exponentially in the past few years, but the social media giant is seeing little revenue coming in from smartphone users. Monetizing mobile usage is one of the biggest hurdles that Facebook has been contending with since the company went public in the spring. The first step, no doubt, is to improve its mobile site. Although the company recently improved its Android (News - Alert) application, their iPhone and Blackberry applications still leave something to be desired.

Edited by Jamie Epstein
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