Facebook is at the start of a journey to help build the next computing platform. Working with others, we’re developing what is often referred to as the metaverse — a new phase of interconnected virtual experiences using technologies like virtual and augmented reality.
At its heart is the idea that by creating a greater sense of “virtual presence”, interacting online can become much closer to the experience of interacting in person. 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.
No one company will own and operate the metaverse. Like the internet, its key feature will be its openness and interoperability. Bringing this to life will take collaboration and cooperation across companies, developers, creators, and policymakers. For Facebook, it will also require continued investment in product and tech talent, as well as growth across the business.
So today, we’re announcing a plan to create 10,000 new high-skilled jobs within the European Union (EU) over the next five years. This investment is a vote of confidence in the strength of the European tech industry and the potential of European tech talent.
Europe is hugely important to Facebook. From the thousands of employees in the EU to the millions of businesses using our apps and tools every day, Europe is a big part of our success, as Facebook is invested in the success of European companies and the wider economy.
This is an exciting time for European tech. The EU has a number of advantages that make it a great place for tech companies to invest — a large consumer market, first-class universities, and, crucially, top-quality talent.
European companies are at the cutting edge of several fields, whether it’s the German biotech helping to develop the first-ever mRNA vaccine or the coalition of European neo-banks leading the future of finance.
Spain is seeing record levels of investment into startups solving everything from online grocery delivery to microelectronics, while Sweden is on its way to becoming the world’s first cashless society by 2023.
We have long believed that European talent is world-leading, which is why we have invested in it so heavily over the years — from funding grants at the Technical University of Munich to opening our first major European AI research lab and FAIR accelerator program in France and Facebook Reality Labs office in Cork.
Beyond emerging tech talent, the EU also has an important role to play in shaping the new rules of the internet. European policymakers are leading the way in helping to embed European values like free expression, privacy, transparency, and the rights of individuals into the day-to-day workings of the internet.
Facebook shares these values and we have taken considerable action over the years to uphold them. We hope to see the completion of the Digital Single Market to support Europe’s existing advantages, as well as stability on international data flows, which are essential to a flourishing digital economy.
As we begin the journey of bringing the metaverse to life, the need for highly specialized engineers is one of Facebook’s most pressing priorities. 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 across the region. And as Facebook continues to grow in Europe, we hope to invest more in its talent and continue to innovate in Europe, for Europe, and the world.