Virtual world “Metaverse”: Facebook announces 10,000 jobs in Europe

Status: 18/10/2021 02:53

Facebook is under pressure after difficult weeks. But the group does not want to remain on the defensive and announces a major investment in a virtual world turned towards Europe.

Facebook wants to create 10,000 new high-skilled jobs in the European Union over the next five years to build the virtual “Metaverse” world. This was announced by Facebook director Nick Clegg in a blog entry. “This investment is a vote of confidence in the strength of Europe’s tech industry and the potential of Europe’s tech talent,” wrote the former UK prime minister.

By “metaverse”, Facebook means a world in which physical reality merges with augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) in a cyberworld. The term comes from American writer Neal Stephenson, who first used it in his 1992 science fiction novel Snow Crash.

Svea Eckert, NDR, on the future Facebook project “Metaversum”

tagesschau24 11 a.m., 18.10.2021

Hard times for Facebook

Clegg said Facebook is at the start of a journey to help build the platform of the future. “Together with partner companies, we are developing the ‘Metaverse’ – a new phase of connected virtual experiences using technologies such as virtual and augmented reality.” No individual company will own and operate the “metaverse”. “Like the Internet, the metaverse will be open and interoperable,” Clegg said.

Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg informed his team this summer that Facebook’s future would depend on building a metaverse. Therefore, the announcement is not necessarily a surprise.

Europe is extremely important to Facebook, said Facebook Director Clegg. The EU has many strengths that make it an ideal location for technology companies.

separation debate

Facebook’s announcement comes at a time when the US group is under massive international pressure. During a US Senate hearing in early October, former Facebook executive and whistleblower Frances Haugen called on politicians to force the online network to be more transparent. Among other things, the 37-year-old accused Facebook of knowing from internal studies that Instagram was harming the mental health of some teens – but did nothing about it. The company also produced negative headlines as an error in network settings led to a six-hour outage on Facebook and affiliates Whatsapp and Instagram.

In the United States but also in the European Union, we are therefore discussing regulation or even a split in the group. For example, the EU is deliberating on two bills, the Digital Services Act and the Digital Markets Act. They are intended to regulate the Internet, for example in the case of personalized advertising and illegal content.

With information from Katharina Wilhelm, ARD Studio Los Angeles

For “Metaversum”: Facebook wants to create 10,000 new jobs in the EU

Katharina Wilhelm, ARD Los Angeles, October 18, 2021 06:11

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