Facebook will add 10,000 jobs in Europe to help build virtual worlds

The company is committing to the 'metaverse' in a big way.

Devindra Hardawar/Engadget

If Facebook is going to become a "metaverse company," it's going to need talent — and more of that talent is on the horizon. The social network has unveiled plans to add 10,000 "high-skilled" jobs across the European Union over five years to build its virtual and augmented reality experiences. The recruiting drive will hire workers in countries including France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland and Spain.

Facebook characterized the move as a "vote of confidence" in the European tech sector. It has a large customer base, of course, but the social media company also pointed to bleeding-edge teams in multiple fields as well as "first class" university education. Facebook even touted the EU's "leading" policies on issues like freedom of speech, privacy and transparency despite the firm's run-ins with regulators.

The tech giant already has a Reality Labs office in Cork, Ireland, and has opened an AI research lab in France. In 2019, Facebook partnered with the Technical University of Munich to create an AI ethics research center.

As with many jobs announcements, this is as much a public relations move as it is a practical investment. It may 'remind' the EU of Facebook's economic contribution and influence relevant policies. Nonetheless, the move hints at the long-term scale of the metaverse transition — Facebook is changing its overall direction, not just shuffling a few resources.