Facebook says it plans to hire 10,000 workers in the European Union over the next five years to work on a new computing platform.
The company said in a blog post on Sunday that those high-skilled workers will help build “the metaverse”, a futuristic notion for connecting people online that encompasses augmented and virtual reality.
Facebook says it will make interacting online “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,” the tech giant said in its blog.
“This investment is a vote of confidence in the strength of the European tech industry and the potential of European tech talent.”
Facebook executives have been touting the metaverse as the next big thing after the mobile internet as they also contend with other matters such as antitrust crackdowns, the testimony of a whistleblowing former employee, and concerns about how the company handles vaccine-related and political misinformation on its platform.
In a separate blog post on Sunday, the company defended its approach to combating hate speech, in response to a Wall Street Journal article that examined the company’s inability to detect and remove hateful and excessively violent posts.