Facebook is building a massive data center in Texas to provide more computing capacity for the online social network's 1.4 billion users to share tidbits of their lives with friends and family.
The first phase of the $500 million project in Fort Worth, Texas will span about 500,000 square feet. It will be located on a nearly 111-acre site, leaving ample room for further expansion.
Facebook Inc. initially expects to employ 40 people at the data center, which will rely solely on wind power to keep its computer servers running.
Like other big Internet companies, Facebook needs to keep adding more data centers as more people around the world gain online access on smartphones and increase the demand for their digital services. The computers in Facebook's data centers store billions of photos and videos in addition to the messages and updates that the service's users post to the social network each day.
This will be Facebook's fourth data center in the U.S., joining others in Oregon, Iowa and North Carolina. The Menlo Park, California, company's only overseas data center is in Sweden.
Google Inc., a Facebook rival, recently picked Alabama to be the home of its 14th data center in the world and seventh in the U.S.
To reduce pollution, Google's newest data center also will run entirely on renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power.
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