London - Facebook is to hire 800 new staff in London, expanding its UK
headquarters despite coming under increasing scrutiny from the country’s
The new hires - predominately in engineering roles and to be
recruited over the next year - will bring the number of staff working
for Facebook in the UK to 2 300. The social media company will also
offer space in its new office to UK-based startups as part of an
accelerator program, the company said on Monday.
Facebook’s expansion comes at a time when Britain
is so alarmed by the extent and scale of Russian interference in UK
politics via social media networks that its lawmakers are getting ready
to interrogate Silicon Valley giants - including Facebook and Twitter - in Washington.
Facebook joins a number of large tech companies doubling down on
their presence in London, despite the ongoing uncertainty about the
UK’s pending exit from the European Union.
"It’s a sign of confidence in our country that innovative companies like Facebook invest here," UK Chancellor
Philip Hammond said in a statement.
London will be Facebook’s largest engineering hub outside the US, according the statement.
The UK is currently lobbying hard for tech talent. The government
plans to double the number of visas available to highly skilled workers,
including technology-savvy candidates.
Snap and Google all announced plans to increase hiring in the UK,
Apple is leasing about 500 000 square-feet of office space at
Battersea Power Station on the south bank of London’s River Thames.
Among European countries, the UK was the most pessimistic about the
future of the European technology industry, according to a
report last week from London-based venture capital firm Atomico, with 18% of respondents - which included thousands of founders and
investors - saying they were less optimistic than they were a year
Over the last 12 months it’s also become harder for British
startups to raise new funding, according to 32% of founders