Facebook has opened its first engineering centre outside of the US in London to focus on mobile improvements for the site on both Android and iOS devices.
The centre was opened today by UK chancellor George Osborne at Facebook's existing UK commercial outpost in Covent Garden at an event attended by V3.
Osborne said the addition of Facebook's engineering office is a "vote of confidence" for London and the UK and "reflects [the] attractiveness of the city as a place to do technology business".
Also speaking at the event were Facebook's head of engineering Philip Su, VP of engineering Mike Schroepfer and Jay Parikh, VP of infrastructure engineering.
Parikh said that Facebook's London engineering centre will focus on three main areas: mobile, platform and machine learning.
Schroepfer explained that mobile is the "fastest and largest technological shift" for Facebook, with the firm's challenge to deliver "a fantastic experience in your pocket".
"London is obviously a great place to build a mobile team because of the local talent in mobile, especially on the Android client with all the start-up energy we see," added Su.
The engineering team in London will be mainly focusing on server side performance enhancements in mobile, something that Facebook values due to the 600 million users that log on to their Facebook profile every month using a mobile device. This is obviously a key growth area for the social network.
"We are reducing net latency - how fast it comes back and doesn't give you the spinner when loading," Su said.
With this, the team will also focus will be improving the amount of bandwidth the app consumes.
The second area the engineering office will focus on is the Android infrastructures, specifically in relation to power management. Su said the Facebook app might be one of the most used apps on your phone in terms of power consumption, so the London team will handle that for the entire company.
The third focus area for mobile is Apple's iOS operating system and general performance improvements.
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