Meta's Metaverse Plans Are Attracting Top Talent All Over Silicon Valley

Meta (formerly Facebook) is beefing up staff as it looks to expand its reach into the metaverse. It's already seeing more players and prospective entrants, but the Silicon Valley giant is still hunting.

Meta's Metaverse Plans Are Attracting Top Talent All Over Silicon Valley

Over the past couple of weeks, several top tech professionals have left some of Meta's biggest competitors to join the metaverse reference.

HoloLens Experience is A Massive Bonus

Last week, The Wall Street Journal reported that Meta had already poached around 100 employees from Microsoft as part of its plans to build an interactive metaverse. Speaking with current Microsoft staff, The Journal reported that over 100 employees had left Microsoft's augmented reality team to join Meta.

Meta is especially interested in developers who worked on Microsoft's HoloLens augmented reality (AR) headsets. While reception has been relatively good, the HoloLens isn't Microsoft's most popular product. As the tech giant moved on to other endeavors, Meta had an easy time nabbing these staffers.

Examining LinkedIn profiles, The Wall Street Journal found that over 70 HoloLens team members have already left the project. Departures were recorded within the past 12 months, and now, over 40 of these people work at Meta.

Meta will capitalize on these developers' experience at Microsoft. The latter has a valuable first-mover advantage in augmented reality - releasing the first HoloLens six years ago. Now one of the world's most advanced headsets, the technology behind the HoloLens could be vital in taking Meta forward.

Apple Trying to Stem the Tide

Microsoft isn't the only company dealing with employee departures. Last month, Bloomberg reported that Apple is fighting a mass employee exit by offering lucrative bonuses and stock options to top talent.

According to the report, Apple offered bonuses and options worth between $50,000 and $180,000 to a group of engineers in its silicone ensign division. The company also rewarded several hardware and software operations engineers with these significant bonuses, which differ from the standard employee stock and bonus packages.

Apple and Meta have a long history of swapping staff members. As two of the world's biggest tech giants, they've found themselves competing in the same arena for years. While Apple hasn't made a massive play for the metaverse, it needs to keep its top talent if it eventually decides to pivot.

Meta is Willing to Play the Long Game

Meta's push towards building a metaverse is as aggressive as ever. After successfully changing its holding company's name to Meta Platforms in October, the tech giant spent a nice chunk of money on R&D.

In a recent earnings release, Meta confirmed it would pour at least $10 billion into its Reality Labs project, spearheading its metaverse ambitions. David Wehner, the company's chief financial officer, said investment in Reality Labs could shrink the company's profits by at least $10 billion this year, and numbers could be even higher in coming years.

However, Wehner said Meta is committed to the project and looking forward to the payoff. According to a Reuters report, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said they are overlooking short-term costs and focusing on long-term benefits.

"This is not an investment that is going to be profitable for us any time in the near future. But we basically believe that the metaverse is going to be the successor to the mobile internet," Zuckerberg reportedly said.

Meta will publish the financial results of Reality Labs to help investors track spending.

In tech, nothing is short-term. Companies must be willing to burn through a sea of cash to create a truly groundbreaking product. Meta, a company with a $900 billion market capitalization, has money to burn.

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