Economy is a Bright Spot For Facebook

    August 24, 2009
    Chris Crum

Facebook is reportedly planning on expanding its staff by up to 50% this year. CEO Mark Zuckerberg delivered this news to Bloomberg, saying the economy has provided a "great environment" for them, because nobody else has been hiring.

Mark ZuckerbergFacebook has some big things in the works. The company recently acquired FriendFeed along with its small staff. They plan to utilize the engineering talents brought by that group. In addition, Facebook has begun allowing for the sale of physical goods through the social network’s virtual currency, which could make it a very big player in e-commerce.

Facebook has picked up one new hire in particular that could play a big role in the payments area. According to reports, the company has acquired Ivan Kirigin, co-founder and CTO of TipJoy, a social payments company, which last week announced its demise (they also have former Director of Product Manager for Google Checkout, Prashant Fuloria).

Between Kirigin and FriendFeed, that’s under 15 new employees at Facebook. Where will the rest come from, and what will they do? One thing you can pretty much count on is that Facebook is looking to start putting all of the growth it has experienced to work at the financial level.

In the Bloomberg interview, Zuckergerg says he wants employees to know that they are closer to the beginning than to the end, and he emphasizes this point with the very building they work in, which is described as garage-like with unfinished cement floors. Considering that Facebook has yet to really nail the revenue thing (though it has plenty of money invested in it – over $600 million),  "close to the beginning" is probably an accurate depiction for the company, that is at least, if this e-commerce thing works out and doesn’t drive people away, as one WebProNews reader suggested recently. Earlier this year, the company said that revenus should grow by 70%.

Zuckerberg considers the investment money nothing more than a buffer, and it looks like we’ll find out soon enough just how well Facebook can really make money. Either way, things are still looking pretty bright for the company. When you can increase your staff by 50% in this economy, you’ve certainly got plenty of confidence.