Facebook to hire 10,000 workers to work on futuristic 'metaverse'

A global group of more than 50 child safety organisations and campaigners has urged Mark Zuckerberg to make Facebook safer for children, sending an open letter to the social network founder calling for more transparency on how the platform plans to tackle the issue.
A global group of more than 50 child safety organisations and campaigners has urged Mark Zuckerberg to make Facebook safer for children, sending an open letter to the social network founder calling for more transparency on how the platform plans to tackle the issue.

The metaverse has been talked up as the next big development after mobile internet, with the buzzy tech word having also been referenced by Microsoft

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Facebook has said it plans to hire 10,000 workers over the next five years to work on a new computing platform.

The company said in a blog post on Sunday that the high-skilled workers will help build “the metaverse”, a futuristic notion for connecting people online that encompasses augmented and virtual reality.

Facebook executives have been touting the metaverse as the next big thing after the mobile internet. Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg has been talking up metaverse since July, and the buzzy word has been referenced by other tech firms such as Microsoft.

Mark Zuckerberg has hailed the metaverse as the next major tech development.
Mark Zuckerberg has hailed the metaverse as the next major tech development.

"No one company will own and operate the metaverse," Nick Clegg, Facebook's vice president of global affairs, wrote in a blog post.

"Bringing this to life will take collaboration and cooperation across companies, developers, creators and policymakers."

Using technologies such as virtual and augmented reality Facebook plans to create a greater sense of "virtual presence", which will mimic the experience of interacting in person.

The coronavirus pandemic has shifted much of the office meetings online, leading to the rise of conferencing apps such as Zoom, and big tech companies are looking to capitalize on this shift.

Facebook, which has invested heavily in virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), including buying companies like Oculus, intends to connect its nearly three billion users through several devices and apps. Zuckerberg believes the metaverse would be accessible across VR, AR, PC, mobile devices and game consoles.

It has already committed $50 million for building the metaverse, and testing a new remote work app where users of Oculus Quest 2 headsets could hold meetings as avatar versions of themselves.

While Facebook did not say what roles it would hire for and where they would be based, the company has been facing antitrust probes in the region, and is often criticised over online safety and hate speech on its platform.

"We look forward to working with governments across the EU to find the right people and the right markets to take this forward, as part of an upcoming recruitment drive across the region," Clegg wrote.