Facebook is creating 1,000 new jobs in the UK

Tech

An employee waits for an elevator at a Facebook office.

Toby Melville | Reuters

Facebook is set to hire another 1,000 people in the U.K by the end of 2020.

The social media giant’s chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg, will announce the new jobs in London on Tuesday, which will bring its total headcount in Britain to more than 4,000.

London, where Facebook has over 3,000 employees, is home to the company’s largest software engineering hub outside the U.S. The firm said the majority of the job openings announced Tuesday would be focused on technology and product.

A key part of the growth plans, Facebook said, will be to further develop its messaging apps WhatsApp and Workplace, the latter of which is aimed at enterprises and considered a rival to Slack and Microsoft’s Teams app.

It’ll also see the company employ more people building tools to identify and remove harmful content on Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp. The availability of harmful content online has been a key concern for regulators around the world.

“Many of these high-skilled jobs will help us address the challenges of an open internet and develop artificial intelligence to find and remove harmful content more quickly,” Facebook’s Sandberg is expected to say. “They will also help us build the tools that help small businesses grow, compete with larger companies and create new jobs.”

In Britain, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government is expected to introduce new legislation aimed at tackling online harms. Proposals laid out in a white paper last year pointed to the creation of an independent regulator that could hold senior executives personally liable for failing to limit the distribution of harmful posts.

“The U.K. is successfully creating both homegrown firms at the forefront of cutting-age technologies, such as artificial intelligence, whilst attracting established global tech giants like Facebook,” Johnson said in a statement Tuesday. “We are committed to making the U.K. the safest place in the world to be online, alongside being one of the best places for technology companies to be based.”

Facebook is also building new offices in London’s King’s Cross which could house up to 6,000 workstations. The first building will open in late 2021.

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