Facebook Inc. intends to create 10,000 jobs in the European Union over the next five years in order to develop a virtual environment that it regards as a critical component of its future and a significant source of new technology investment.
The social media behemoth announced on Sunday that it would begin a search for highly trained people in the region to assist with the creation of a "metaverse," an online realm where users interact with one another using technology such as virtual and augmented reality. The company plans to hire mostly in Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Poland, the Netherlands, and Ireland, according to the company.
In a blog post, Facebook stated that the investment "is a vote of confidence in the strength of the European digital industry and the future of European tech talent."
"As we begin the process of bringing the metaverse to life, one of Facebook's most critical objectives is the requirement for highly qualified engineers," it stated.
Over the summer, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg outlined his vision for the metaverse, portraying it as a "successor" to the mobile internet and a major driver of new technology investment. Last month, the corporation announced intentions to invest $50 million in the virtual world, estimating that sections of it will take 10 to 15 years to complete.
Microsoft Corp., Roblox Corp., Epic Games Inc., and Nvidia Corp. are among the main tech companies building hardware and software for the metaverse, or their own virtual worlds within it.
Facebook's EU hiring comes as the EU is discussing a number of legislation packages aimed at limiting the dominance of giant digital and social media corporations, measures that would be supported by the ability to levy significant fines.
Facebook has stated that it welcomes new regulations, including portions of the EU proposals, but has expressed reservations about certain of them.
Facebook said in a blog post on Sunday that "the EU also has an important role to play in establishing the future laws of the internet" by incorporating European values that it claims to embrace.
Following a series of articles by The Wall Street Journal, based in part on extensive internal communications at the company, that offer an unprecedented look at Facebook's struggles to manage products and systems at the heart of its business success, the company is facing increased regulatory scrutiny on both sides of the Atlantic.
Senate hearings were held in late September and early October as a result of the articles.
Facebook claims that its own research was misinterpreted. The Journal has stated that its reporting is accurate.
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