18 October 2021
Facebook says it plans to hire 10,000 workers in the European Union over the next five years to help build the "metaverse."
The metaverse has been described as a non-physical world in which individuals can communicate through different kinds of virtual technology.
The social media company announced its hiring plans for the EU in a statement published online. Facebook's hiring drive is expected to target Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Poland, the Netherlands and Ireland.
In the statement, the company said the metaverse will aim to create a greater sense of "virtual presence" for users. The idea is to build an online environment that will be much closer to the experience of interacting in person.
Facebook has already invested heavily in virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies. Such technologies are expected to drive the metaverse. Company chief Mark Zuckerberg has said he plans to connect the social media service's nearly three billion users in new ways through these technologies.
Last month, Facebook announced a $50 million investment to finance worldwide research and partnerships to develop products for the metaverse. It said it plans to work on the effort with civil rights groups, non-profit organizations, governments and universities.
Facebook has also created a new team to develop metaverse products. But the company has said it will likely take 10 to 15 years to fully develop many of those products.
In the new statement, Facebook said "the need for highly specialized engineers is one of Facebook's most pressing priorities" in its metaverse development efforts. "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."
The statement recognized that many different parties would have to come together to build the metaverse. "No one company will own and operate the metaverse...Bringing this to life will take collaboration and cooperation across companies, developers, creators and policymakers."
The statement added: "This investment is a vote of confidence in the strength of the European tech industry."
Facebook has faced investigations in several EU nations into whether its operations limit competition. The company has also been criticized for not doing enough to protect the privacy and safety of its users and for failing to block hate speech from its services.
I'm Bryan Lynn.
The Associated Press, Reuters and Facebook reported on this story. Bryan Lynn adapted the reports for VOA Learning English. Ashley Thompson was the editor.
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Words in This Story
virtual – adj. used to describe something that can be done or seen using computers or the internet instead of happening in a physical place
interact – v. to talk and do things with other people
virtual reality – n. a set of images and sounds produced by a computer to represent a real place or situation
augmented reality – n. an enhanced version of reality using technology to add digital information on an image of something
priority – n. something that is very important and must be dealt with before other things
recruit – v. to try to persuade someone to work for a company or join an organization
collaborate – v. work together with other people on a single project
vote of confidence – n. a sign that someone is pleased with the quality of something or what someone else has done or produced