Facebook says it plans to hire 10,000 workers in the European Union over the next five years to work on a new computing platform where people exist and communicate in shared virtual spaces.
The company said in a blog post Sunday that those 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 as they also contend with other matters such as antitrust crackdowns, the testimony of a whistleblowing former employee and concerns about how the company handles vaccine-related and political misinformation on its platform.
In September, Facebook committed $50 million towards building the metaverse, where companies like Roblox Corp and "Fortnite" maker Epic Games have an early foothold. The company earlier launched a test of a new virtual-reality remote work app where users of the company's Oculus Quest 2 headsets can hold meetings as avatar versions of themselves.
Facebook also said in July it was creating a product team to work on the metaverse which would be part of Facebook Reality Labs, its augmented reality and virtual reality group.
"This investment (in new jobs) is a vote of confidence in the strength of the European tech industry and the potential of European tech talent," the company said.
In a separate blog post Sunday, the company defended its approach to combating hate speech, in response to a Wall Street Journal article that examined the company's inability to detect and remove hateful and excessively violent posts.
(FRANCE 24 with AP, REUTERS)