Facebook is planning to boost staff levels by 50% by the end of the year, according to CEO Mark Zuckerberg. He told Bloomberg that the economy means that the best talent is easier to hire, because no-one else is hiring.

"It's been a great environment for us because the economy has helped out", Zuckerberg said, adding that he's currently trying to keep a lid on costs so that his site reaches positive cash flow next year. "The thing I want to remind people of is we're way closer to the beginning than the end", he said.

It's not clear what all those new employees will be doing, though we'd hazard a guess that ad sales would be high up on the list. The site has a target of 1 billion users, which it's more than a quarter of the way towards currently.

For comparison, Google doubled its staff numbers every year in the 3 years through 2005. Has the social network got the ability to match Google's successes? Or will another site be the next big thing instead?