Facebook expands in Israel

By John O'Hanlon

Facebook Israel will be hiring 30 new R&D, and ten marketing employees, its local team has announced. The new staff join the 55 development personnel and 20 sales and business development personnel already working for Facebook in Israel.
The announcement by Facebook Israel development centre general manager Roy Tiger and country general manager Adi Soffer-Teeni comes 18 months after the social-networking giant acquired local startup Onavo for $120 million and made it its Israel R&D centre.

Roy Tiger among other things manages an Israeli team involved in Facebook's internet.org project aimed at connecting five billion people, or two thirds of the world’s population, to the internet. “I’m very happy to say that nearly seven million people used cellular Internet for the first time in their lives because of this service,” he said.

He also spoke about Safety Check, a tool that can help survivors in disaster areas let loved ones and authorities know whether they are all right. It was successfully used in the recent Hurricane Pam in the Asian Pacific region, he said.

Soffer-Teeni talked about one outcome of Facebook’s desire to teach players in the Israeli market like startups, advertising agencies, and SMEs how to make better use of Facebook. The company decided, she said, to establish GYM - a special operation of Facebook Israel aimed at training users in 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.

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