Facebook, which already employs some 60,000 people, announced a massive expansion of its workforce in an effort to get a head start in building the metaverse. The company says it aims to hire 10,000 new employees, all in the EU.

The metaverse is loosely defined as a sort of immersive internet where virtual experiences and worlds share some level of connectivity, interoperability, and identity (ie: a shared avatar across experiences). Facebook believes that the metaverse, alongside AR and VR, represent what it often calls the “next computing platform,” which it has been aiming to get an early grip on ever since it acquired Oculus back in 2014.

If the company hadn’t already made it abundantly clear that it believes that the metaverse is the next major tech landgrab, it definitely has now. This week the company said it will hire a staggering 10,000 new employees over the next five years in order to support its effort to get a head start on building the metaverse.

“No one company will own and operate the metaverse. Like the internet, its key feature will be its openness and interoperability,” the company wrote. “Bringing this to life will take collaboration and cooperation across companies, developers, creators and policymakers. For Facebook, it will also require continued investment in product and tech talent, as well as growth across the business.”

To that end the company is planning to grow its workforce by nearly 17% with a hiring spree that will create “new high-skilled jobs” that will support its metaverse efforts.

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Beyond racing toward its vision of the next computing platform, the jobs announcement makes clear another priority—growing the company’s political influence in the EU.

According to Facebook, all of the 10,000 newly created roles will seek hires living in the EU; not coincidentally company believes that “the EU […] has an important role to play in shaping the new rules of the internet. European policymakers are leading the way in helping to embed European values like free expression, privacy, transparency and the rights of individuals into the day-to-day workings of the internet.”

Specifically the company says, “We hope to see the completion of the Digital Single Market [Wikipedia] to support Europe’s existing advantages, as well as stability on international data flows, which are essential to a flourishing digital economy.”

With the offer of 10,000 new tech jobs in the region, Facebook is surely securing itself some leverage in the discussion of internet policies and regulations with will impact both its existing online business and its future metaverse aspirations.

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Ben is the world's most senior professional analyst solely dedicated to the XR industry, having founded Road to VR in 2011—a year before the Oculus Kickstarter sparked a resurgence that led to the modern XR landscape. He has authored more than 3,000 articles chronicling the evolution of the XR industry over more than a decade. With that unique perspective, Ben has been consistently recognized as one of the most influential voices in XR, giving keynotes and joining panel and podcast discussions at key industry events. He is a self-described "journalist and analyst, not evangelist."
  • ZarathustraDK

    Open standards is the only way the metaverse will come about. Facebook can help this by helping forming a consortium with competing entities in the vein of the Khronos group which is the steward of Vulkan, or they can delay it by acting like a dictator and pouring money into lobbying and try to cordon it off into a product which will inevitably fail since no-one is interested in seeing FB holding the keys to the metaverse.

    Thumbs down from here until proven otherwise.

    • morfaine

      They lead the push for OpenXR. Evidence so far says they’ll do the same for other the open standards needed.

  • redi

    Thank you facebook for taking VR seriously, without you VR will be dead long time ago.

    • Ad

      “Thank you lord for these chains you have bestowed upon me, for your grace and your omnipotence.”

      • palmer fuckey

        Oculess – google it – you can use your quest without a facebook account, for now.

        • Ad

          No one will use that, it disables the store and you still need the account to set it up.

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    • bigdaddy5

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      • JakeDunnegan

        He’s not wrong. He’s just ignoring the other half of the story.

    • JakeDunnegan

      Here’s a funny thing – I don’t disagree with Facebook doing it’s part.. heck, more than it’s part to make VR more mainstream.

      What I, and many like me, dislike, is Facebook then using their position to bait and switch with their new hardware. If you got the Rift, you could have a private account, not attached to anything more than a random email addy and a paypal account. You bought hundreds of dollars in the Oculus store, and all was good.

      But, if you keep up with their ecosystem/oculus store/new hardware, you have to get a Facebook account. For many Facebook users (like myself) it means I have hundreds of former classmates, much of my extended family tree, some neighbors and even a few co-workers, attached to my Facebook account.

      It’s downright creepy that Mr. Zuck feels the need to combine the two, and he’s going to regret it, IMO. He thinks that this new “metaverse” he’s creating is going to be the “next big thing” – and maybe it will be. I mean, many of us have read “Ready Player One” – who knows?

      But, I, for one, will be sure to make sure my anonymity is kept secure no matter what. And, I stopped buying anything but the rarest of FB exclusives in the Oculus store. Nearly all my new games I buy on Steam.

    • Toto_Dot

      Thanks Mark.

  • palmer fuckey

    Facebook needs to be broken up before it can exert political influence over the EU and enslave everyone. So ASHAMED of my fellow netizens that would accept this tyranny if VR gets a few more dollars. How pathetic.

  • Fierce Deity

    European policymakers are leading the way in helping to embed European values like free expression, privacy, transparency and the rights of individuals into the day-to-day workings of the internet.”

    Interesting statement because my experience of living in Europe for 30 years has been quite the opposite, especially the last 2 years with the vaccine policy.

    • david vincent

      Living “in Europe” means nothing, european countries can be very different from one another.

      • ViRGiN

        and they all have better consumer protection and better healthcare. of course each country is different, but everyone is way better off under EU than USA itself.

  • Ad

    Some analysts have suggested that the metaverse narrative is actually a legal move to shift the narrative from the areas Facebook has monopolized to a future market they would be considered an innovator in. No January attacks in XR yet, their App Store doesn’t have scrutiny or lawsuits yet (even though it’s run even more tightly than apple’s), children haven’t been proven to be more depressed using quests yet, and Facebook is a monopolist here but the sector is new and few care about it or understand it.

    Does this fit with that? Maybe, it seems like it’s a mix of things and to be honest the EU aspect of this makes it seem pretty clearly to be the case, Facebook is an American company and europe is dominated by American tech. They even bought the leash of Nick Clegg, former deputy prime minister of the UK and former LibDem leader, as their spokesman and excuse man. I’m sure they want to project an image of a European company as well that created the European jobs of the future, else the EU starts protecting its citizens from Facebook or helping local competition. Oh also the Digital Single Market will make it incredibly hard for European governments to regulate Facebook individually.

    Why isn’t there a flatscreen metaverse effort like this yet though? Why are fortnite/roblox the only ones trying?

    What’s the breakdown of content creators to coders to engineers in this hiring spree?

    • sfmike

      Could be investing in European tech talent is wise because their engineers are brighter than ours due to their better educations and more democratic socialist stability in their lives. It’s hard for young people here to get by when their pockets are constantly picked by obscene student loans, rents and health care costs for the benefit of the .0001%. As America continues as a money laundering capitol for the billionaire set and slides into third world status for it’s working class it’s smart to invest in the rest of the world that has an actual future.

      • Ad

        That’s a bizarre response. No, that’s not why at all. Bernie wants to break up Facebook so not sure why you’re coming at this like that anyway. People who work at Facebook are in that class anyway and the ones on the margins are more profitable as precarious workers.

    • ViRGiN

      Your conspiracy theories are always laughable to read.
      Pretty much every company has big representatives and teams in separate markets. Ubisoft in North America, Europe and Asia and you don’t bat an eye?

  • CIR

    IOI: Now hiring.

    • dk

      that’s the new rebranding of FB …IOI xD

  • JakeDunnegan

    Who knows? Maybe this new venture will be more lucrative than their “trying to influence elections” business.

    • sfmike

      That’s not going to stop as they have to make sure they don’t have a raise in taxes or legislation against their monopoly and it doesn’t cost much to sway the uneducated and buy off politicians.

      • ViRGiN

        .. what monopoly? It’s not the only social media page, just like YouTube isn’t the only video service.

    • ViRGiN

      Facebook didn’t influence elections, it influenced people. People are to blame, not Facebook.

      • morfaine
        • ViRGiN

          You can find the same news from 5-10 years ago. What has changed?
          Blame the goverments now, not Facebook.

          • Toto_Dot

            No, we will blame Facebook.

      • JakeDunnegan

        *knock knock knock* “Is that you in there, Mark? Zuck? You in there?”

        • ViRGiN

          Blame the people for getting 99% of news content from a single website, not Facebook. Does Facebook blocks BBC, CBS, CNN or whatever else? No, people decided for themselves that FB is enough, all in one place.

  • david vincent

    “No one company will own and operate the metaverse”
    Sure, and no facebook account will ever been required.