The new name could however be released sooner, and will likely rebrand Facebook’s social media app as one of several products under a larger parent company controlling Instagram, Oculus, WhatsApp and more.
Facebook to hire 10,000 workers to build a metaverse
It comes after the social media giant on Sunday announced plans to hire 10,000 workers to build a metaverse combining real life and virtual reality to form a new augmented reality realm.
The near-trillion dollar company will hire the workers from the European Union, Facebook global affairs vice president Nick Clegg announced in a blog post at the time.
“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,” Clegg said.
“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.”
In late July, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg described the metaverse as a digital environment.
Essentially, rather than looking at the internet through a computer or device, users are embedded within the internet.
Then, they can wander around the metaverse, see each other and have conversations in real time.
The metaverse won’t be run by one company, and instead will be a shared realm for people to virtually interact by using virtual and augmented reality headsets and devices.
Facebook announced it would invest US$50 million into creating a metaverse in September, promising that it would do so “responsibly”.
Clegg added on Sunday that Facebook’s decision to base its metaverse operations in the EU was linked to the region’s regulatory power.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
Who does Facebook need?
Facebook said that to develop the metaverse, it now needs highly specialised engineers and will be working closely with EU nations to source the talent.
“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,” Clegg said.
“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.”
Additionally, Spain is funnelling record levels of investment into startups while Sweden is edging closer to becoming the world’s first cashless society, Clegg added.
The jobs themselves will be a mixture of high-skilled engineering, product and associated business functions professionals.
Facebook name dragged through the mud
It comes as the embattled company faces challenges on several fronts.
How do I skill up for the metaverse?
For many, this will be the first time they’ve heard the word ‘metaverse’.
However, it’s soon set to become part of everyday language, according to head of Creative Studio at Yahoo Zoe Cocker.
She believes that given the rate of development, the metaverse could be commonly used within seven years.
Cocker currently works with brands to develop ecommerce experiences within a metaverse, where shoppers can purchase digital garments, attend fashion shows and meet other people.
When it comes to the skills required to land a job working with the metaverse, Cocker believes that most professions will eventually have a metaverse application.
Engineering backgrounds will naturally be highly regarded, as will people with experience in coding and gaming.
“[Additionally], roles that exist in the physical world will now just be upskilled into that world, so it’s not just engineering but marketing and finance - even retail. All of these have digital roles within that environment, so everybody will need to upskill,” Cocker said.
There are essentially four prongs: the builders of the metaverse, including engineers and coders.
Then there are the people that commoditise the goods and experiences within the metaverse, including marketers and advertisers.
The third level of jobs will be the creators, including artists and people creating NFTs and games. Then there are the people that talk about the metaverse, share the news and the stories - so influencers, promoters and journalists.
For younger people, Cocker would consider studying immersive media, digital transformation and game engineering as core areas.
“[Learning about the metaverse] is a great opportunity to lean into something, because it doesn’t just teach you about the internet but also about society and what people want and need and how we’re evolving, or not evolving,” she said.
“Even if you don’t end up working in the metaverse, I invite people to look into it, read into it, have a point of view on what it is before you chalk it up as some crazy invention that you don’t need to know about.”
And if Zuckerberg is right about the future of the internet - and he has been before - we’ll all be taking a step into the metaverse sooner than we think.