By Mike Murphy
Facebook Inc. plans to create 10,000 jobs in the European Union over the next five years to help build its new “metaverse” platform.
“Facebook is at the start of a journey to help build the next computing platform,” the company said in a blog post Sunday, “a new phase of interconnected virtual experiences using technologies like virtual and augmented reality.”
“Europe is hugely important to Facebook,” the company added. “This investment is a vote of confidence in the strength of the European tech industry and the potential of European tech talent.”
Target markets for hiring and recruitment will include Ireland, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Poland and the Netherlands, but not the U.K.
Facebook’s /zigman2/quotes/205064656/composite FB +2.40% metaverse is envisioned as a 3-D digital environment where users can do everything from play games with friends to conduct work and make purchases. Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg laid out his vision for the metaverse in July, and soon after unveiled Facebook’s first offering: a digital meeting space .
Facebook’s announcement comes amid a spate of scandals and negative news, including that Facebook ignored data that found its platforms hurt young users , knowingly amplified extremism , and consistently favored profits above people . On Sunday, the Wall Street Journal reported that Facebook’s own engineers doubt its ability to police its platforms via artificial intelligence.
The revelations and accusations have hardly dented Facebook’s stock price though. Its shares are up 19% year to date, in line with the S&P 500’s /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX +0.31% 19% gain in 2021. Facebook is expected to see 37% revenue growth in the third quarter when it reports earnings Oct. 25.