Facebook to Open a London Mobile Engineering Base
These are interesting times for the tech sector here in London. I wrote earlier this week about plans by Amazon to open a new digital media development center in the British capital, with a focus on developing their on-demand services.
The latest tech heavy weight to hit the capital looks like being Facebook. Reports suggest that they are set to build their first engineering office outside of the US in London, with the focus of the facility being on developing their mobile platforms, which is set to be a key area as the company looks to make money after its flotation earlier this year.
The new facility will be located at Covent Garden, with the company saying London is a perfect fit because of its vibrant local startup community and strong supply of technical talent.
The small starter team — just 22 jobs are being advertised online, only five of which are for engineers — will "grow over time and eventually focus on building products in key areas like mobile and platform,".
Mobile success is key for Facebook, as more people now access the site on mobile devices than on desktop ones. They are however not clicking on ads, which is an issue Facebook are investing heavily to overcome.
Facebook have already purchased mobile social book marking site Spool — not for its product, but for its expertise — and Instagram in 2012.
"With everything we talk about, mobile has to be at the center of it," David Fischer, Facebook's vice president of business and marketing, said recently. "It's really important within the company that everyone recognizes the importance of it and that we march fast in that direction."
The news is a boost to the London economy, with Facebook joining other leading tech companies in moving to the city, with a focus on the Silicon Roundabout area just north of the City of London.