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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.

Go deeper

Ina Fried, author of Login
Sep 14, 2021 - Technology

Facebook allows prominent users to break rules

Signage in front of the Facebook Inc. headquarters in Menlo Park, California, U.S., on Wednesday, April 21, 2021. Photo: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Facebook has long said that it applies the same rules to all posts, but internal documents obtained by the Wall Street Journal paint a picture of a company that allowed millions of politicians, celebrities and other high-profile users to break those rules without consequence.

Why it matters: It's hard to limit misinformation on a platform when you give a free pass to those with the most reach.

Pelosi's back-to-school math problem

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) may need votes from an unlikely source — the Republican Party — if she hopes to pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill by next Monday, as she's promised Democratic centrists.

Why it matters: With at least 20 progressives threatening to vote against the $1.2 trillion bipartisan bill, centrist members are banking on more than 10 Republicans to approve the bill.

By the numbers: Haitian emigration

Expand chart
Data: CBP; Chart: Sara Wise/Axios

The number of Haitians crossing the U.S.-Mexico border had been rising even before their country's president was assassinated in July and the island was struck by an earthquake a month later.

Why it matters: A spike during the past few weeks — leaving thousands waiting in a makeshift camp under a bridge in Del Rio, Texas — has prompted a crackdown and deportations by the Biden administration.