October 18, 2021 – Facebook has announced that as part of its work to develop its own metaverse, it is planning to create 10,000 new high-skilled jobs within the European Union (EU) over the next five years.
According to Facebook, Europe is a hugely important market, not only due to the fact that the company already has thousands of employees in the EU along with millions of businesses that use its apps and tools every day, but also due to a number of advantages that make Europe a great place for tech companies to invest. These include the region’s large consumer market, the presence of hundreds of leading universities and, crucially, a diverse talent pool.
Facebook stated that it is at the start of its journey to help build the next computing platform. Working with others, the company is developing what is often referred to as the metaverse — described by Facebook as “A new phase of interconnected virtual experiences using technologies like virtual and augmented reality”.
At the heart of the metaverse concept is the idea that by creating a greater sense of virtual presence, interacting online can become much closer to the experience of interacting in person. The metaverse therefore has the potential to help unlock access to new creative, social and economic opportunities.
Although many companies have announced in recent months that they are building “their own metaverse”, Facebook pointed out that when it comes to a true metaverse, no one company will own and operate it. Instead, like the internet, the key feature of the metaverse will be its openness and interoperability.
Bringing this sort of vision to life therefore requires collaboration and cooperation across companies, developers, creators and policymakers. Facebook acknowledged that the EU is also important since it has a role to play in shaping the new rules of the internet, with European policymakers looking at how to best embed European values like free expression, privacy, transparency and the rights of individuals into the day-to-day workings of the internet.
In a blog post covering the announcement, Nick Clegg, VP Global Affairs, and Javier Olivan, VP Central Products at Facebook, stated: “Facebook shares these values and we have taken considerable action over the years to uphold them. We hope to see the completion of the Digital Single Market to support Europe’s existing advantages, as well as stability on international data flows, which are essential to a flourishing digital economy.” The two added, “Europe is a big part of our success, as Facebook is invested in the success of European companies and the wider economy.”
As Facebook begins its journey of bringing the metaverse to life, it has highlighted that the need for highly specialized engineers is one the company’s most pressing priorities. Facebook added that as part of an upcoming recruitment drive across the region, it expects to be working with governments across the EU to find the right people and the right markets to take its metaverse ambitions forward.
Last month, Facebook announced that it would be investing USD $50 million towards global research and in program partners to ensure the responsible development of the metaverse. Overall, the company’s investments both financially and in the creation of more jobs mark a vote of confidence from Facebook in the strength of the European tech industry and the potential of European tech talent.
To read the full announcement, click here.
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