If you’re based out of Europe and don’t, uh, already hate Facebook, then boy oh boy does the company have the perfect job for you. On Sunday, the company announced that it plans to create 10,000 “high-skilled jobs” across the EU to help build out Facebook’s plans for the “metaverse.”
There’s a lot of folks that might still be a bit shaky on what the hell Mark Zuckerberg means when he says that he wants to shift Facebook from being a social media company to a “metaverse company.” In the announcement, the company refers to the phrase as a “new phase of interconnected virtual experiences,” shepherded along with virtual and augmented reality tech. These tools, Facebook explained, can turn online interactions into something that’s “much closer” to the kinds of interactions that we have face-to-face in the real world, now.
It’s unclear what the 10,000 jobs building out this vision are going to look like. Ostensibly, at least a few of those jobs are going to involve tinkering with new ideas for virtual reality environments to plop inside people’s Oculus headsets. Considering how the most notable product rollout for Oculus was Horizon Workrooms—which is literally just an open-air conference space, but in virtual reality—it’s worth assuming that whatever metaverse-y products these employees will be tasked with creating will be equally unglamorous.
As for why Facebook’s turning to the European market to fill out these roles, that’s equally unclear. The company confirmed to Insider that its recruiters would be targeting countries like Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Ireland, and Poland for these roles, adding that the hiring spree “is a vote of confidence in the strength of the European tech industry and the potential of European tech talent.”
The more cynical reason might be that the company is trying to use this job-market bonanza to distract from the company’s mounting PR issues across the EU and the fact that its current employees are increasingly upset with Zuckerberg and co’s irresponsible decisions. Former Facebook data scientist-turned-whistleblower Sophie Zhang, who left the company this past Spring, is scheduled to give testimony in front of British lawmakers on Monday, while fellow whistleblower Frances Haugen is scheduled to appear before UK parliament next week. Needless to say, the company might have a bit of an issue filling those thousands and thousands of roles once their remarks hit the public sphere.