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Facebook to hire like it's 1999

Could increase staff by as much as 50 per cent

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Facebook expects to increase its staff by as much as 50 per cent this year by tapping into the "surplus" of out-of-work engineers caused by the Meltdown.

The social networking website's chief executive Mark Zuckerburg said in an interview with Bloomberg that while most tech firms are shedding workers to make do, Facebook's revenues are on the rise and capital investments are still flowing in. The business has about 1,000 employees worldwide and could bolster its ranks by 40 per cent to 50 per cent in 2009, he said.

"No one else has been hiring," Zuckerberg told Bloomberg. "It's been a great environment for us because the economy has helped out."

Facebook's chieftain said the company is tightening its belt in other areas, however, in order to finally reach profitability by 2010. One such effort was moving into a stripped-down, cement-walled building in Palo Alto, California which he dubbed "the bunker", when it was time to expand to a larger headquarters.

Facebook's expansive plans for this year contrast with that of MySpace, which announced in June that it will lay off nearly 30 per cent of its US-based workforce. MySpace said at the time that its staffing was "bloated" as well as "too big considering the realities of today's marketplace."

While Facebook claims to have more than 250 million users now, Zuckerberg apparently thinks that's peanuts compared with what the website can eventually pull in. Hyperbole is certainly not a foreign concept to the man, but he actually told Bloomberg that he aims to eventually have 1 billion users on the website.

One billion. About 15 per cent of the world's population. Too be fair, Zuckerberg didn't provide a time frame for this miraculous accomplishment and didn't specify if he was counting house pets and alternate dimensions in his prediction, either. ®

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