Facebook has announced plans to employ 10,000 people in the European Union over the next five years.
It said the move will enable the company to build a “metaverse”, a virtual reality version of the Internet that the company sees as the future, where people can use different devices to move and communicate in a virtual environment.
The company announced on Monday that the 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,” it said.
The tech giant 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.
The company had in July said it was creating a product team to work on the metaverse which would be part of Facebook Reality Labs, its augmented reality and virtual reality group.
In September, the tech giant committed $50 million towards building the metaverse, with companies like Roblox Corp and Fortnite maker Epic Games having an early stake in it.
The announcement comes as the social media giant tries to deal with a damaging scandal, after a whistleblower revealed that the company knew its other platform product, Instagram, was negatively affecting young people’s mental health, yet was taking no action to check the abuse.
Critics view the metaverse announcement by Facebook as an attempt to divert attention from the scandal.
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