It’s a very exciting time to be a technology company in London right now. Not only do we have all the excitement (and occasional frustration!) of being the host city for the Olympic Games, but we are also welcoming an increasing number of technology giants to the Capital.
Only this week it was announced that Amazon and Facebook are both opening new offices in the city. Amazon’s 8 storey space in the Barbican area will house a Digital Media Development Centre where designers and developers will work on creating interactive services for mediums such as TV, consoles and smartphones. Calling London an “obvious choice” due to the UK’s pioneering work in developing on-demand media and content services according to the Telegraph, this move is likely to help all of us who are actively looking into ways to more deeply integrate digital content with the commercial advertising that supports it.
Facebook’s move is significant as they have opened their first engineering office outside of the United States here in London. Based at its new British HQ in Covent Garden, it is likely that the team will be focusing on key Facebook growth areas of mobile and platform development with an eye on enhancing capabilities for third party developers. Philip Su, the Facebook Engineer leading the London team even went so far as to tell TechWeekEurope London was “the centre of Europe’s vibrant technology scene”.
Google has increased its commitment to the city this year with its Tech City-based Campus Centre co-working hub where UK technology start-ups can access office space, support and services to help them collaborate and grow. Things appear to be going rather well for the initiative too as it has just been reported that the company is going to be extending its reach across the UK via a virtual mentoring service run from the London location, bringing start-ups in other regions access to its incubation and development opportunities. For an introduction to Tech City and more on Google’s Campus, we recommend you take a look at this BBC video report.
The Telegraph is also reporting this week that Google’s YouTube is opening a studio in town. The ‘Creator Space’ in Soho is going to help YouTube members create more professional videos for the site, taking people from what is for many a bedroom studio environment to a professional set-up that lets them use the latest technology and editing tools to take their content to the next stage. As a company that is already active in online video advertising, we’re looking forward to seeing the results of their efforts hitting the network, delivering more eyeballs and engagement options for advertisers to in turn fuel even more commercial success for the content producers.
Due in part to the UK government’s efforts to brand London as a Centre for Digital Excellence, but also because of the sheer weight of talent and innovation within our city walls, we think these developments are great news for the tech sector in London, and look forward to welcoming many more global technology companies this year.