Facebook announced that it plans to create 10,000 new jobs in the European Union over the next five years. This hiring is part of the company’s plan to build a digital world called the “metaverse.”
On Sunday, the company announced its plans to bring on highly skilled engineers. Facebook will focus its search on Germany, France, Italy, Poland, the Netherlands, Ireland, and Spain.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg first outlined his plans for the metaverse in July. It’s a digital world where people can interact in a 3D environment. Microsoft, Epic Games, and Roblox are all working on the metaverse as well.
Facebook moves into virtual reality
Facebook has been investing heavily in both virtual and augmented reality over the years. The company has already developed its Oculus VR headset, and it’s currently working on AR glasses and wristband technology.
In August, Facebook launched a beta test for a virtual reality remote work app. This app was supposed to be the company’s first step into the metaverse. Anyone that owns the Oculus Quest 2 can conduct virtual meetings and appear as avatars of themselves.
And as Facebook began working on the metaverse, it became apparent that it needed more engineers to bring the project to life. The company plans to work with governments across the EU to find the right recruits.
“As we begin the journey of bringing the metaverse to life, the need for highly specialized engineers is one of Facebook’s most pressing priorities,” Nick Clegg, Facebook’s head of global affairs, wrote in a blog post.
In the metaverse, users will buy virtual land, clothing, and other digital assets. They will pay for these items using cryptocurrencies. However, Facebook has acknowledged that no single company will own the metaverse.
“There’s not going to be specific metaverses to specific companies. There’s only going to be one metaverse,” said Tuong Nguyen, an analyst for Gartner. But concerns have arisen that Facebook and other large companies will end up monopolizing the metaverse.
Problems still persist for Facebook
However, it’s not all positive news for Facebook right now. Earlier this month, whistleblower Frances Haugen testified about internal documents she leaked before leaving her job at Facebook. Haugen accused the company of putting profits before people and ignoring data that Instagram is harmful to teenagers.
For three years, Facebook studied how Instagram affects teenagers, and in particular, teenage girls. Over 30% of teen girls said Instagram made them feel worse about themselves. And 14% of boys said the same thing.
Mark Zuckerberg denied these claims, but the anti-trust probes don’t look like they will end anytime soon. Haugen and another whistleblower are scheduled to testify before the U.K Parliament this month. And Haugen may appear in another parliament hearing in November.
In the meantime, the company is moving forward with its plans for the metaverse. Facebook has already committed $50 million to build the metaverse and test its remote work app.
“We look forward to working with governments across the EU to find the right people and the right markets to take this forward, as part of an upcoming recruitment drive across the region,” Clegg wrote.