Facebook Roundup: Ph.D. Fellows, Menlo Park, Deals, Credits, f8, Valuation, Engineering, Friendster and More

Facebook Announces Tech Heavy Set of 2011 Fellows – Facebook announced who was selected to become Ph.D. fellows this year. The Facebook Fellowship Program included people with backgrounds in psychology and economics last year; this year the five winners who receive tuition and fees for the 2011-2012 academic year, $5,000 for travel, $2,500 for a computer and a $30,000 stipend all study technical disciplines.

Specifically, Adrienne Porter Felt and Kurt Thomas of the University of California at Berkeley both study computer security, Yinan Li of the Universitiy of Wisconsin at Madison studies databases, Wei Liu of Columbia University studies machine learning, and Marke Olszewski of MIT studies compiler technology.

Facebook to Grow to 9,400 Employees by 2017 – According to public documents in Menlo Park, California Facebook plans to grow its workforce at its new Menlo Park headquarters from 1,400 to 9,400 people by 2017.

Facebook Deals All About Credits – AllFacebook reports that Facebook sources are saying that the company is not initially taking a cut of the revenue from its new Deals program. Instead it reportedly seeks to expand the reach of Credits, the in-Facebook currency.

Facebook to Host f8 in 2011 – Facebook has confirmed that the company will host an f8 conference sometime this year.

Facebook Valued at $70B on Secondary Market – Reuters reports that a group  of investors are trying to sell $1 billion of Facebook stock on secondary markets for amounts that would put the company’s total value at $70 billion; these investors previously tried to sell the shares for a value of $90 billion, but couldn’t move the stock.

Details of Russian Facebook Ownership – Gigaom reported this week that Russian investor Yuri Milner holds a 2.33% stake in Facebook, 1.41% stake in Zynga and a 4.63% stake in Groupon, among other investments and holdings.

Facebook Institutes “Hackamonths” – Facebook Engineering’s Dave Ferugson posted a note to the Facebook Engineering Page this week in which he detailed Facebook’s new “Hackamonth” program for engineers. Essentially the program will allow engineers to temporarily leave their current team to work on a different project; the goal is to have about 10% of the company’s engineerings participating each month. The Hackamonth program could become a recruiting talking point that lures engineers who are tired of working on the same project for years on end at other tech companies.

Details on Facebook’s Messages Server – The Facebook Engineering Team published a note this week that details the internal functioning of the Messages application server.

Facebook Advertises on Gmail – Facebook is running ads on Google, according to this screenshot. [Image via jing]


Friendster Deletes User Info on May 31 – A message sent to registered Friendster users announced that users should export their data because the social network is going to delete all of it on May 31. The company, from which Facebook purchased patents in Auguest 2010, notes that it will delete blogs, photos, comments, groups, etc., but keep accounts active and become an entertainment site, reported TechCrunch.

Blog Suggests New Feature for Facebook – A new blog, Yo Zuck! Implement This, takes suggestions for Facebook and creates mock-ups of their implementation. Youssef Sarhan is in Dublin and runs the blog, and has suggested a translate function, notification change and other interesting features. [Image via Yo Zuck]

MakeMeReach Raises €3M – The French Facebook-approved ad network and Facebook app developer MakeMeReach raised €3 million to fund international outreach for its services. Currently the company employs 25 and will use its funding to double staffing to move into Italian, Spanish and German markets, TechCrunch reports.