Almost a fifth of Facebook employees are now working on VR and AR

Facebook has nearly 10,000 employees in its division working on augmented reality and virtual reality devices, according to a report in The Information based on internal organizational data. The number means the Reality Labs division accounts for almost a fifth of the people working at Facebook worldwide.

This suggests that Facebook has been significantly accelerating its VR and AR efforts. As UploadVR noted in 2017, the Oculus VR division accounted for over a thousand employees at a time when Facebook’s headcount was 18,770 overall, indicating a percentage somewhere north of five percent.

Since then, Facebook has shifted its VR focus away from Oculus Rift-style tethered headsets by releasing the Oculus Quest and Quest 2, which are standalone wireless devices that don’t require a PC. The $299 Quest 2 was preordered five times as much as its predecessor, with developers seeing a boost in sales of their existing titles.

“Today, most of what Facebook does is…we’re building on top of other people’s platforms,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg told The Information in an interview this week on Facebook’s VR and AR ambitions. “I think it really makes sense for us to invest deeply to help shape what I think is going to be the next major computing platform, this combination of augmented and virtual reality, to make sure that it develops in this way that is fundamentally about people being present with each other and coming together.”

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