Facebook will hire 10,000 new high-skilled workers across Europe over the next five years to build a digital world called the metaverse.

The metaverse is a term used to describe a virtual space where multiple people can exist and communicate within a 3D environment, using technologies like virtual and augmented reality.

The social media giant said Europe will be at the heart of shaping the metaverse from the start, which will help bring new creative, social, and economic opportunities to the European Union.

“Europe is hugely important to Facebook,” the company said in a blog post on Sunday night. “From the thousands of employees in the EU, to the millions of businesses using our apps and tools every day, Europe is a big part of our success, as Facebook is in the success of European companies and the wider economy.”

As it begins the journey of bringing the metaverse to life, Facebook said there is a “need for highly specialised engineers”.

Mark Zuckerberg and his company have made the metaverse one of their top priorities. Facebook first unveiled its plans to build the metaverse in July, touting it as the next stage of how people experience the internet. In September, Facebook committed to investing $50mn in a global research program to develop it “responsibly.”

Facebook defined its vision of the metaverse as a virtual space where people can “hang out with friends, work, play, learn, shop, create and more”.

The company claimed that it does not necessitate being online more but being online in a “more meaningful” way. “Just like the internet, the metaverse exists whether Facebook is there or not. And it won’t be built overnight,” Facebook said in September. “The metaverse isn’t a single product one company can build alone.”

The social media giant’s target markets for hiring include Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Poland, the Netherlands and the Republic of Ireland. But the UK will miss out as it pulled out of the European Union in January 2020, ending 47 years of membership.

Facebook’s head of Global Affairs Nick Clegg and VP of central products Javier Olivan said this is an exciting time for European tech. “The EU has a number of advantages that make it a great place for tech companies to invest — a large consumer market, first class universities and, crucially, top-quality talent,” they added in a blog post on Sunday.

“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”, the company added. “And as Facebook continues to grow in Europe, we hope to invest more in its talent and continue to innovate in Europe, for Europe and the world.”

Facebook recently unveiled “Horizon Workrooms”, a work collaboration app where people can hold meetings as avatar versions of themselves in a virtual reality space with the help of the company’s Oculus Quest headsets.

Read More

Bitcoin analyst makes $150k price prediction amid ETF ‘frenzy’ – follow live

Nasa sends Lucy probe on 12-year mission to explore asteroids around Jupiter

WhatsApp update offers ‘really big’ advance for billions of users