Facebook announced that it plans to create up to 10,000 high-skilled jobs within the European Union (EU) over the next five years to help build the “metaverse.”
The company defined the metaverse as “a set of virtual spaces where you can create and explore with other people who aren’t in the same physical space as you” when it announced an initial $50 million investment in programs and external research in the project last month.
This online world would be accessed through virtual and augmented reality, such as the social network’s Oculus Quest 2 wireless VR headset and Ray-Ban Stories smart glasses — though it is expected to take 10-15 years to build.
Facebook said that the metaverse will not be owned or operated by one company and “Europeans will be shaping it right from the start” through recruiting “highly specialized engineers” to help build it. The company cited the EU’s advantages — such as a large consumer market and first-class universities, as well as specific countries’ contributions like startup investment in Spain and Sweden becoming a cashless society by 2023 — in its decision to work there.
Facebook said it would be working with EU governments to shape the rules of the metaverse.
Meanwhile, the company is currently facing a lawsuit from the FTC that alleges holding a monopoly on social media through anticompetitive behavior. It is also making changes to an Instagram app for kids after recent whistleblower testimony said the company prioritized profits over the safety of its users, particularly teens.
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