Jul 27, 2021 - Technology

Facebook creates new unit to build a "metaverse"

Illustration: Sarah Grillo / Axios

Facebook announced Monday it was forming a new Metaverse product group to advance its efforts to build a 3D social space using virtual and augmented reality tech.

The big picture: In an interview with journalist Casey Newton, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he sees the metaverse — a term widely used in both tech and science fiction to describe broadly shared, open virtual environments — as "the successor to the mobile internet." Zuckerberg also said it was "not something that any one company is going to build."

Details: Facebook's new Metaverse product group will report to Andrew Bosworth, Facebook's vice president of virtual and augmented reality, who announced the new organization in a Facebook post.

What they're saying: Facebook's Oculus and Portal products have been first steps toward the new vision, Bosworth wrote, "but to achieve our full vision of the Metaverse, we also need to build the connective tissue between these spaces — so you can remove the limitations of physics and move between them with the same ease as moving from one room in your home to the next."

  • Leading the new team will be Instagram product head Vishal Shah and Facebook Gaming's Vivek Sharma and Jason Rubin.

Of note: Bosworth's announcement linked to a Facebook hiring page for AR/VR jobs that lists more than 700 openings.

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