Facebook chooses Dublin for its HQ
Social networking site Facebook has chosen Dublin as its European Headquarters.
The fast-growing company, which has about 100 million active users, will soon begin scoping-out Dublin for a site for its headquarters and will begin recruiting staff, industry sources said yesterday.
They added that while the number of staff to be announced initially will be small, the company expects to grow in the future.
It is understood that the former Minister for Enterprise, Micheal Martin, met with Facebook executives when he visited California on an IDA Ireland trip late last year.
Later, executives from the company, which was the internet phenomenon of 2007, indicated that Ireland was one of two locations it is considering in Europe.
The move will be seen as a boon for the IDA, as electronics and manufacturing firms continue to move to low-cost locations which has led to thousands of job losses over the past couple of years.
A number of internet companies have already located European bases here including Google, eBay and Amazon.
Facebook, which allows members to track friends' activities using the internet and in which Microsoft has a $240m stake, was founded at Harvard University back in February 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg and has been expanding ever since. More than half its advisers are located outside the US.
The use of the site in Ireland has more than doubled in the last 12 months, according to a new report from the Irish Computer Society.
Last October, 131,600 Irish people were using the site, but this has now reached 308,200.
Of these, 69pc are 25-years-old or older, proving that it attracts an older audience than competitors such as Bebo. Irish site Nimble.ie has meanwhile grown from 5,000 users a year ago to almost 117,000 members.