SEATTLE – Our cameras got an insider’s look inside Facebook’s Seattle office to see what they’ve done so far, and what’s next for the social media giant.
When you walk down the halls, the office looks young, feels small and with its unfinished ceilings, seems incomplete. Facebook’s Seattle Office Communications Lead, Eva Skone, says that’s the point.
“We believe our work is 1% finished, which means there’s a lot to do,” said Skone.
At Facebook Seattle, they’ve already done some much in five short years. Some of the country’s top engineers eat, work and play here. Whether it’s enjoying a complementary cafeteria and fully loaded snack bars, to playing a round of ping-pong, or having a meeting in an indoor hot tub, they say the playfulness has purpose.
“Helps keeps us feeling small to the past, back when we were pretty scrappy as the company continues to grow here in Seattle,” said Skone.
And that growth has been exponential.
“If you asked me two years ago no i did not expect to grow this fast,” said Vijaye Raji, Facebook Seattle Director of Engineering.
Raji was one of fewer than 30 employees back in 2010 when Facebook Seattle started.
They moved into this office three years ago with 100 people. Now they’re bursting at the seams with more than 600 employees making it time to move again.
Modeled after Facebook’s headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., the new “Dexter Station” office will have a large rooftop park with walking trails, a giant fire pit, covered dining area and room for up to 2,000 people.
“We’re really looking forward to the Dexter space. That’ll give us a little more breathing room for the next couple of years,” said Raji.
They’ll need it too. Facebook Seattle is now bigger than all of Facebook was in 2010. They attribute growth to Western Washington’s talent pool and local engineers who have helped develop Facebook functions like video calling, the first iPad app, live stream video and 360 degree video.
So, what’s next? Goals of delivering connectivity to third would countries via drone and using virtual reality technology to give people a new view.
“When I think about people in the hospital who cannot get out of their bed or cannot leave their rooms, giving them the ability to virtually escape reality is immensely powerful and we’re building that here,” said Raji.
Bottom line, Facebook wants to connect the world and they’re well on their way. Everyday, Facebook’s 1.5 billion users share 2 billion photos and watch 8 billion videos. Engineer G2 and his 65-member team are behind the infrastructure to store all that data, building his own way to connect to his family, half a world away.
“I can actually see that through Facebook posts. I have a small part of making that possible,” said Ganapathy Krishnamoorthy, Facebook Seattle Director of Engineering.
Facebook’s Dexter office was designed by Frank Gehry, who’s known for his design of Seattle’s Experience Music Project Museum. Facebook Seattle expects to move into the new space early next year.
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