Social-networking website Facebook has confirmed plans to establish its international headquarters in Dublin.
The annnoucement was made by the Tanáiste and Minister for Enterprise Trade & Employment, Mary Coughlan, this morning.
The company said Dublin will be the centre for its international operations and will provide technical, sales and operations support to users and customers across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
No details were forthcoming on where the company will be based or on whether new jobs will be created as a result of the expansion into Ireland.
In establishing a presence in Dublin, the website follows in the footsteps of other leading internet-based firms including Google, eBay and Yahoo!, who all have offices in the capital.
In a statement, Facebook's chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg said: “After exploring various locations throughout the region, we decided Ireland was the best place to establish our new headquarters. As we grow and strive to make Facebook into a place for people around the world to connect and share information, we need local operations to better advance our efforts.
"The talent pool in Dublin is world-class, and recruiting local talent will help us better understand the needs of local users and the regional dynamics that, in turn, can give us better insight into what features matter most,” she added.
Established in 2004 by Harvard student Mark Zucerberg, Facebook is one of the world's most popular social networking website.
The use of Facebook has more than doubled in the last 12 months, according to a recent report from the Irish Computer Society.
Last October 131,600 Irish people were using the site, but this has now reached 308,200. Of these, 69 per cent are 25 or older, proving that it attracts an older audience than competitors such as Bebo.
ICT Ireland, the Ibec-affiliate which represents the technology industry locally, welcomed today's announcement, saying it was "a strong endorsement of Ireland as a centre of excellence for the high tech sector.