In July this year, CEO Mark Zuckerberg told his employees that Facebook would focus on becoming a meta verse company. Now, Nick Clegg, VP of Global Affairs, and Javier Olivan, VP of Central Products, have announced in a blog post that the social networking service company would create 10,000 new jobs across the EU to build the metaverse.
“Facebook is at the start of a journey to help build the next computing platform,” says Facebook in the blog post. “Working with others, we’re developing what is often referred to as the metaverse—a new phase of interconnected virtual experiences using technologies like virtual and augmented reality.”
The term “metaverse” was coined by American sci-fi writer Neal Stephenson, who used it in his 1992 cyberpunk novel Snow Crash to describe a virtual shared space that appears to its users as an urban environment. Metaverse users in the novel experience the virtual world by connecting through personal terminals hooked up to goggles the users wear.
The metaverse Mark Zuckerberg has been pushing so much recently won’t be a single virtual world. Instead, it can be better described as the next evolutionary step of the internet. Indeed, Facebook is putting a lot of emphasis on openness and interoperability, stating that the project will require collaboration and cooperation across companies, developers, creators and policymakers.
The 10,000 new jobs the company wants to create over the next five years in the EU are supposed to be high skilled. The blog post mentions a number of reasons why Facebook decided to invest in the potential of European tech talent, including a large consumer market and first class universities.
This isn’t the first investment Facebook has made in the EU. In the past, the company funded grants at the Technical University of Munich and opened its European AI research lab in Paris, just to give two examples.