Last week marked the fourth anniversary of the first deal in Israel by popular social network Facebook, a $60-70 million investment in the acquisition of Israeli startup Snaptu, which developed an application that facilitates easy high-speed Internet access and apps for simple phones. The local team moved to Silicon Valley, and was absorbed into the Internet giant for the purpose of promoting Internet services for people who do not make a habit of carrying advanced smartphones with them.
In the four ensuing years, there have been quite a few "likes" on Facebook servers. Facebook has acquired two more Israeli startups since then, with the second one, Onavo, becoming the cornerstone of Facebook's offices in Israel.
At a press conference held today by Facebook Israel, Facebook Israel development center general manager Roi Tiger and country general manager Adi Soffer-Teeni announced that they were planning to expand the company's workforce in Israel.
According to the plan, Facebook is expected to hire 30 employees - engineers, product managers, and designers - for the development center and 10 more employees for marketing and business development jobs. These will join the 55 development personnel and 20 sales and business development personnel already employed by the company in Israel. Facebook's business in Israel is managed from four rented floors in a new building at 22 Rothschild St. in Tel Aviv owned by Aviv and the LR group, as reported exclusively by "Globes" in September 2014.
Soffer-Teeni said that due to its wish to teach the players in the Israeli market - startups, advertising agencies and firms, and companies - how to make better use of Facebook, it was decided to establish GYM - a special operation of Facebook Israel aimed at training relevant parties in the market in the used of Facebook's tools and platforms. "I believe that other countries around the world will adopt the unique idea devised by our team here," she added.
Tiger, who among other things manages an Israeli team involved in Facebook's internet.org project aimed at connecting five billion people worldwide to the Internet, mentioned Safety Check, a recent project led by the Israeli team. "This is an application that enables people to announce their situation quickly in a disaster, such as an earthquake. It was successfully used in the recent Hurricane Pam in the Asian Pacific region," he said.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on March 22, 2015
© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2015