Facebook Inc. is set to create 10,000 jobs within the European Union over the next five years with an intent to build a ‘Metaverse.’ The ambitious concept will see virtual and augmented reality come together to create a world where people experience their social and professional lives online. This digital utopia will be created through the use of virtual reality headsets like the Oculus Rift.
The announcement of these new jobs was made by Facebook’s vice-president of global affairs, Nick Clegg, via a blog post where he stated, “Today, we are announcing a plan to create 10,000 new high-skilled jobs within the EU over the next five years.” Within his post, he also outlined the boost that the proposal would bring to the European tech industry, saying, “This investment is a vote of confidence in the strength of the European tech industry and the potential of European tech talent.” The post further highlighted, “As we start the journey of bringing the metaverse to life, the need for specialized engineers is one of Facebook’s most pressing priorities.”
The social media giant has already invested $50 million in the scheme. Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg shared his hopes for the initiative in an interview with The Vergecast, saying, “The Metaverse is a vision that spans many companies — the whole industry. You can think about it as the successor to the mobile internet.” He also explained in the interview, “This Metaverse would not be solely a Facebook creation. And it’s definitely not something that a single company is going to build. But I think a big part of our next chapter is going to hopefully be contributing to building that in partnership with a lot of other companies, creators, policymakers, and developers.”
Facebook’s move has been seen by many as a reaction to the events caused by the coronavirus, which saw the world of work move almost entirely online. Companies relied heavily on conferencing apps such as Zoom to keep their workplaces connected, and the world’s biggest tech conglomerates are looking to capitalize on this shift.
The proposed 10,000 jobs that Facebook plans to create will not expand beyond the UK, with the recruitment drive staying within the European Union for now. The new employee search will focus primarily on Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Poland, the Netherlands, and Ireland.
“We are keen to work with governments across the UN to find the right talent and the right markets to take this initiative forward,” Clegg wrote.