It looks like Apple and Twitter aren't the only companies looking to fly solo with their very own giant data centres, with Facebook announcing that it is to almost double the size of its planned self-hosting facility in Oregon.

The surprise announcement - which ARN claims is a sign of the social networking company's runaway growth - is claimed by the company's Tom Furlong to be part of "the second phase of the [data centre] project, which was an option we put in place when we broke ground earlier this year," and comes before phase one - the building of a data centre - is even close to being finished.

Originally designed to be a 147,000 square foot site in Oregon, the new Facebook data centre design adds a further 160,000 square feet to the plan - making the centre an impressive 307,000 square feet in total.

While not coming close to rivaling Apple's up-coming 500,000 square foot behemoth, the size of the site is likely to give Facebook's competitors in the social networking marketplace pause for thought - and is a useful visual representation of the growth of the site, which now boasts more than 500 million users across the world.

In order to keep costs down, Facebook will be using evaporative cooling - aided by Oregon's dry climate - which the company claims will make it one of the most energy-efficient, and therefore cheapest to run, data centres around.

Any Facebook fans pleased to see that improved capacity is coming your way, or are you just surprised at the number of companies choosing the large-scale self-hosting route these days? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

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