Virtual reality communities, primarily through games like VRChat, are already a thing, but they’re not exactly the hubs of commerce and culture that movies like Ready Player One would have you believe. Mostly, they’re just a place for people to share dumb memes, hurl themselves off cliffs, or engage in especially creepy interactions that I choose not to go into detail on. Basically, it’s the same old internet, but with a VR headset. If we’re ever going to reach the point of having a true interconnected virtual community, we’re gonna need a lot of talented engineers to make it work. That’s exactly what Facebook is in the market for.
Facebook announced its intent to construct a “metaverse,” an online virtual community, a while back, and in an effort to make that happen, they’ll be conducting a massive hiring drive over the next five years. In total, they’re looking to scout around 10,000 new employees from the European Union, all to work on metaverse development.
“As we begin the journey of bringing the metaverse to life, the need for highly specialized engineers is one of Facebook’s most pressing priorities,” Facebook executives Nick Clegg and Javier Olivan wrote in a statement.
While Facebook will be constructing this ecosystem, they claim it will not be owned or managed by any single company, even them. “Like the internet, its key feature will be its openness and interoperability. Bringing this to life will take collaboration and cooperation across companies, developers, creators and policymakers,” said Clegg and Olivan.
Facebook plans to hire 10,000 people in the European Union over the next five years to help build the ‘metaverse’ – an online world where people exist and communicate in shared virtual spaces, the social media giant said https://t.co/DNZu4Elo87 pic.twitter.com/MVeahkwli3
— Reuters (@Reuters) October 17, 2021
As for why they’re going for Europe, it’s a business decision. “Setting up shop in Europe is a smart move for any organization interested in the potential of the metaverse. This is not only a question of where the skills lie,” Jeremy Dalton, head of XR [Extended Reality] at PwC told CNN Business.
“This new era of digital interaction will inevitably intersect with government policy and consumer and business interest in privacy, data protection and more.”