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Facebook finds a home in the heart of Kendall Square

Posted by Scott Kirsner  August 1, 2013 10:26 AM

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Facebook's small crew of local software engineers are adjusting their privacy settings.

They're planning to move from shared space at Workbar, where entrepreneurs and startups rent individual desks or offices on a monthly basis, to their own digs on the eighth floor of One Broadway, the Kendall Square tower that also houses the Cambridge Innovation Center.

The space isn't huge: about 3,000 square feet, according to several real estate sources with knowledge of the deal. That will fit roughly 15 people. Facebook's local employees likely won't move into the new space until later in 2013.

Ryan Mack's LinkedIn profile describes him as the site lead for Facebook's local team, which appears to be only a half-dozen or so people at this point. But Mack's profile also says that he is "focusing on hiring infrastructure experts to grow our Boston-based team. We are looking for experienced engineers who would enjoy the challenge of building massive globally distributed systems while simultaneously defining the culture and trajectory of our rapidly growing team." Facebook's careers page doesn't yet list Cambridge or Boston as a location where you could get hired by the social network, but my understanding is that the interviewing locally has been much more targeted, focusing on people already known to one of the current team members, or who can get an introduction.

Facebook spokesperson Slater Tow wouldn't comment on the company's local hiring plans, or its new office: "As a rule, we decline to comment on these types of stories," Tow wrote via e-mail. Brokers at Colliers International, which handles the leasing at One Broadway, haven't yet responded to a phone call and e-mail.

Facebook's local engineers have worked out of both the Boston and Cambridge locations of Workbar for the last year or so; the Cambridge location, on Prospect Street in Central Square, just opened in May. At One Broadway, they'll be the latest Silicon Valley tech giant to set up a Massachusetts outpost. Google, Amazon, and Apple have all rented space in the building at one time or another.

In its startup days, Facebook had an advertising sales office in Boston, which it closed in 2006.

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Scott Kirsner was part of the team that launched Boston.com in 1995, and has been writing a column for the Globe since 2000. His work has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, and Variety. Scott is also the author of the books "Fans, Friends & Followers" and "Inventing the Movies," was the editor of "The Convergence Guide: Life Sciences in New England," and was a contributor to "The Good City: Writers Explore 21st Century Boston." Scott also helps organize several local events on entrepreneurship, including the Nantucket Conference and Future Forward. Here's some background on how Scott decides what to cover, and how to pitch him a story idea.

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