Facebook has revealed plans to hire 10,000 people in the European Union to develop a metaverse – an online world where people can game, work and communicate in a virtual environment via a VR headset.
“The metaverse has the potential to help unlock access to new creative, social, and economic opportunities. And Europeans will be shaping it right from the start,” Facebook said in a blog post.
The new jobs being created over the next five years will include “highly specialised engineers”. Investing in the EU offered many advantages, including access to a large consumer market, first-class universities and high-quality talent, Facebook said.
Despite its history of buying up rivals, such as WhatsApp and Instagram, Facebook claims the metaverse “won’t be built overnight by a single company” and has promised to collaborate.
Commenting on the news, Josie Klafkowska, Global Marketing Director at Wunderman Thompson Technology, said: “It’s no surprise that Facebook is making investment in the metaverse one of its highest priorities. Consumer reliance on technology has been steadily increasing, and we’ve now reached a point where we’re replicating our routines, interests and obsessions in digital worlds. We’ve already seen virtual and physical realities superimposed with the likes of Ariana Grande ‘s Fortnite appearance and ABBA’s upcoming digital shows. People will not only be socialising in digital spaces but working, shopping and discovering products there too, so it’s likely that more and more organisations will start incorporating it into their strategies in the very near future. However, to meaningfully engage with customers in the metaverse, brands will need to think beyond entertainment and novelty and consider how they can contribute to the creation of an inclusive and ethical virtual world.”
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