Facebook unveiled plans to hire 10,000 people in the European Union (EU) for the development of a new digital environment dubbed metaverse, which the company predicted will unlock future creative, social and economic opportunities.
In a blog, the social media giant announced it will open the high-skilled jobs in the bloc within the next five years to develop what it claimed was a new phase of interconnected virtual experiences using VR and AR technologies, among others.
Facebook said the initiative will require collaboration between companies, developers, creators and politicians as “no one company will own and operate” the project because it will run in a similar manner to the internet.
The company previously explained the idea behind the metaverse is to bring “a set of virtual spaces” where people in different locations can connect with others to socialise, work, play and learn, among other activities.
Facebook expects it to take up to 15 years to fully develop products for the metaverse.
Importance of Europe
The social media giant highlighted the region as “hugely important” by being the home to thousands of its employees and millions of businesses using its services.
It also expressed confidence in the “strength of the European tech industry” as the region provided a large consumer market, “first class universities and, crucially, top-quality talent”.
Facebook also emphasised the EU as an important player in shaping new rules of the internet.
Its investment in the region comes after European Commission EVP Margrethe Vestager highlighted a need for alternatives to Facebook and reduced reliance on a few big players in the tech industry.