Facebook to work on metaverse

By Laura Berrill
Facebook plans to hire 10,000 EU staff to develop a so-called metaverse

The latest announcement comes as the company deals with the fallout of a damaging scandal, as well as increased calls for regulation to curb its influence.

So what is a metaverse?

A metaverse is an online world where people can game, work and communicate in a virtual environment, often using Virtual Reality headsets. CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been a leading voice on the concept and the company has made building it one of its main priorities.

In a blog post, Facebook said: "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."

The new jobs being created over the next five years, it says, will include "highly specialised engineers".

Investment in the European Union

Facebook also said that investing in the EU offered many advantages, including access to a large consumer market, first-class universities and high-quality talent.

And despite its history of buying up rivals, it claims the metaverse "won't be built overnight by a single company" and has promised to collaborate.

It recently invested $50m (£36.3m) in funding non-profit groups to help, it states: "build the metaverse responsibly".

Diversion tactic?

However it is thought that the true metaverse idea will take another 10 to 15 years.

Some critics say this latest announcement is designed to re-establish the company's reputation and divert attention from recent scandals.

This included revelations from whistleblower Frances Haugen, who worked as a product manager on the civic integrity team at Facebook.

Internal research by Facebook found that Instagram, which it owns, was affecting the mental health of teenagers. But Facebook did not share its findings when they suggested that the platform was a "toxic" place for many youngsters.

 

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