Our new offices in King’s Cross, London will be officially opened today by Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall.
The newly built offices are a substantial investment in London with more than 620,000 square feet of office space and almost 5,000 workstations. Part of the carbon neutral King’s Cross estate, the offices were constructed using leading sustainable building techniques and are being entirely supplied by green gas. They will be home to engineering teams working on Instagram, Reality Labs (which is building the future of connection within virtual and augmented reality), Workplace, and Ads & Business Products.
London is already our largest engineering hub outside the US with more than 4,000 employees based at offices in Brock Street, Rathbone Place, Shaftesbury Avenue and now King’s Cross.
“We’re honoured that The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall are officially opening our newly built King’s Cross offices. London is already our largest tech hub outside of the US and our new campus will now be home to thousands of high-skilled engineers. Our teams here are building innovative technologies to connect billions of people around the world and help small businesses grow, while also keeping our services safe.”
Steve Hatch, Vice President for Northern Europe
Supporting Ukrainian People
During the visit, Their Royal Highnesses will hear from Facebook Group Admins as well as Nicola Mendelsohn about our work to support the people of Ukraine.
- A Community Help feature which is live in Ukraine and neighbouring countries and was built in just 72 hours. This is a central resource on Facebook where Ukrainians and others in the region can find reliable information from local UN agencies and Red Cross societies. This includes where to seek medical help, how to stay safe and how to get assistance – both in Ukraine and once they have crossed into neighboring countries.
- An information line launched on WhatsApp by the Ukraine State Emergency Service which connects users to critical updates, reliable and trustworthy information as well as details about emergency response procedures.
- Fundraising efforts on Instagram and Facebook which have now seen more than $50 million raised since 23 February across the two platforms in support of nonprofit humanitarian efforts for Ukraine. This is the generosity of more than 1 million donors for more than 3,200 charities.
- How Facebook Groups are being used to help Ukrainian refugees, including new emergency relief features which help members come together and take action. Since the invasion of Ukraine began, more than 5 million people have joined over 4,000 Facebook support groups to be part of the drive to help Ukrainian people – through local communities providing humanitarian aid like accommodation, legal advice or medical aid among other forms of assistance.
The Prince of Wales will also have a discussion with admins of two Facebook groups in Poland that connect Ukrainian refugees with resources for transport, accommodation, clothing, medication and more from group members. And he will hear about how groups in the UK, which are also helping coordinate volunteering for Ukrainian people – including a group who has helped gather donations and share resources for hundreds of potential hosts for Ukrainian refugees.
Innovations Built by Meta, including London Engineers
Their Royal Highnesses will be hosted by Nicola Mendelsohn, our VP Global Business Group, and Steve Hatch, our VP Northern Europe to see different examples of innovative technology built by engineers in London, including:
- Reality Labs: Demonstrations of Meta Quest 2, including the National Geographic app; the Story Time app on Portal where a story can be read with animations, music and effects during a call; and Ray-Ban Stories — smart glasses that let you capture photos and video, share your adventures, and listen to music or take phone calls.
- Jubilee AR filters: An early preview of the official Jubilee Pageant AR filter, designed in partnership with artist Gabriella Marcella on Spark AR. The filter will be rolled out on Instagram to help people celebrate the Jubilee.
- Connectivity: A briefing on the 2Africa subsea cable, which, alongside a number of other global partners, shows how we are investing in and will connect Africa, Europe and the Middle East to bring affordable, high-speed internet to 3 billion people.
- Online safety: An overview of steps we’re taking to remove harmful content and keep young people safe online, including new tools and products like Family Centre.
- WhatsApp chatbots: Examples of social impact chatbot services on WhatsApp, including the “Loneliness” chatbot created in partnership with the Jo Cox Foundation to connect people experiencing loneliness with support and resources.
The Duchess of Cornwall will meet Admins of four Facebook Groups who use the platform to support parents and families in their communities and which have a combined membership of more than 200,000 people. She will also record a conversation for her Reading Room account on Instagram with journalist, podcast host and fellow book lover Daisy Buchanan.
Finally, Their Royal Highnesses will jointly visit Meta’s London Social Good fair, which will highlight local community projects and initiatives being supported by Meta and its UK employees. They will meet some of the young people from a diverse range of backgrounds who have benefitted from mentoring and training initiatives in partnership with charities including The Prince’s Trust.
Their Royal Highnesses will officially open the building by unveiling a digital plaque marking the occasion.