By now, it’s pretty clear Facebook is serious about leading virtual and augmented reality. Further underling Facebook’s bet that immersive technologies are the future of computing, a report from The Information claims that the company is currently employing nearly 10,000 people to work on AR/VR.
The report maintains this number accounts for a staggering one-fifth of Facebook’s total workforce worldwide. According to info obtained by Statista, the company has doubled in staff size since 2017, ballooning to around 58,000 employees in 2020.
Granted, the report doesn’t go into specifics; the 10k number likely reflects a wide range of devices and services outside of Oculus Quest, its Project Aria AR efforts, and its Ray-Ban smartglasses built in cooperation with Luxottica.
Teams dedicated to research, development, manufacturing, communications, public relations—all of the trappings required of a company of Facebook’s size may likely be in play in the 10k count. This would also include projects like Portal, its development into AI, and even first-party VR game studios like Sanzaru, Beat Games, and Ready at Dawn.
Supposing its true, none of this really comes as a surprise. Facebook has been very forward with its intentions to own the space since acquiring Oculus in 2014 for $2 billions. Following the subsequent incorporation of its VR brand Oculus into the mothership, it opened Facebook Reality Labs, the company’s AR/VR skunkworks. At the time of this writing, Facebook Reality Labs has over 800 open jobs spanning augmented reality, virtual reality, brain-computer interfaces, and artificial intelligence.