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Originally published May 5, 2010 at 10:05 AM | Page modified May 6, 2010 at 1:26 PM

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Facebook plans to open Seattle engineering office

The Seattle area's pool of engineering talent has won over Facebook, the hugely popular social media service, which is planning to open an engineering office here.

The Seattle area's pool of engineering talent has won over another major Silicon Valley company.

Facebook, the hugely popular social-media service, is planning to open an engineering office here. Announcement of the Palo Alto, Calif., company's intentions came Wednesday out of Mayor Mike McGinn's office.

Facebook said it plans to open the office in July and is looking for space that could hold as many as 30 employees over the next year.

"We are aggressively trying to get the best of the best technical talent around the world," said Mike Schroepfer, vice president of engineering at Facebook.

In looking for places to find that talent, Schroepfer said, "Seattle popped to the top of the list." Along with quality-of-life issues, he pointed to Microsoft, Amazon.com, Boeing and other "magnets of talent." He also noted that the University of Washington "in particular is a well-regarded computer-science university."

Schroepfer would not identify particular locations that Facebook may be considering, but when it opens, the office would be the company's first engineering office outside of its corporate headquarters.

The office is expected to work on a range of Facebook projects, depending on the talents and interests of recruits, Schroepfer said. It will be headed by Ari Steinberg, an engineering manager who is relocating to Seattle.

Facebook, founded six years ago, has more than 400 million users worldwide. The heavily trafficked site has increasingly become a platform for online usage and development.

The company has 1,200 employees worldwide.

The Seattle opening comes as Google, another pillar of Silicon Valley, broadens its presence in the Seattle area, which includes a campus in Kirkland and offices in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle.

In addition, Microsoft and Yahoo are in the process of forming their search partnership, with engineers from the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company relocating and becoming employees of Microsoft.

Facebook said it reached out to, and has worked with, the city of Seattle on coming to the area.

"This move means new jobs for those in our software-development community and is a strong testament to the talent in our region," McGinn said in a statement.

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