Sure, it may never open up an actual office in Connecticut, but we can dream. Facebook spread its influence into the Northeast again after leaving for the West Coast. This time, however, they’re going big.
The Boston Globe says that although Harvard is the actual birthplace of Facebook, it became a digital behemoth after Mark Zuckerberg left for Menlo Park, CA. Currently, it serves over 2 billion people. Basically, about 30 percent of the global population. Mind blowing, isn’t it?
So, Facebook needs to expand in order to accommodate its growing customer base. About four years ago, FB returned to Boston to set up a small office that staffed about 100 people. Now, they plan to up that amount to 500 with a new facility slated for construction in Kendall Square. Honestly, the new place looks gorgeous.
Cambridge city officials say the new construction will make FB the biggest employer in the area. It’ll also further Boston’s reputation as the new technology hub.
I mean, they always had that reputation. I mean, hello, MIT anyone?
Anyways, the Kendall Square office will focus on the company’s machine-learning efforts. Translation: workers there will use data collected from us and then use it to optimize our experience on the website. So, in short, a data mine.
The new office will also construct a “Connectivity Lab,” one which will deliver Internet access to 4 billion people. By that, they’ll partner with telecom companies and other technology giants to provide internet access to those without it. I know, that’s kinda huge. And kinda scary. But also impressive.
On top of that: this office will also allow Facebook to experiment with phone technology again. We all remember when it tried to compete with Apple back in 2013. Now, with people thoroughly jaded by the iPhone, chances are that they’ll try to enter the market again.
Heck, if they create a phone that can play my iTunes, I’m sold.
They’ll also dabble with other new inventions. Currently, the company patented a gadget that operates like a Lego set, but it includes speakers and a microphone. So, maybe it’s an extreme version of build your own gaming/recording studio? Who knows.
But, I do know the latest move is yet another blow to Connecticut. GE aside, with Facebook building up its Northeast presence, it proves that Boston really is the technology hub. Which means, Boston gained even more ammo to entice our companies to abandon ship.
Besides, with the changing work demands of the new generation of workers, Boston casts a shadow on what Hartford offers. So, what does this mean for Connecticut?
Will it be easier for Boston to steal our businesses now? What can Connecticut do to make ourselves more attractive to companies? Only time will tell.