Facebook creates exec team to work on Mark Zuckerberg’s vision for a digital universe

Facebook is all in on the Metaverse: The social media giant is reorganizing to build out a new Metaverse product group that will be headed by Vishal Shah, Instagram’s current VP of product. Other key executives of the group include Facebook Gaming VP Vivek Sharma, who will be leading the development of the company’s Horizons VR world, and Facebook gaming executive Jason Rubin, who previously led content for Oculus.

The new group is reporting to Facebook’s VP of AR and VR, Andrew Bosworth, who announced the founding on his Facebook page Monday afternoon. “To achieve our full vision of the Metaverse, we 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,” Bosworth wrote. “To focus our efforts and deliver on this vision, we are bringing together the teams that have been driving some of this fundamental work.”

The new group will encompass the teams that have been working on Horizon, the AR/VR content team as well as the Unit 2 Games team, which Facebook acquired last month. The company also intends to hire hundreds of new employees for the group, according to a spokesperson.

The announcement comes a few days after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg outlined his vision for the Metaverse in an interview with Casey Newton. In that interview, Zuckerberg called the Metaverse “the successor to the mobile internet,” and pledged to turn Facebook from a social media company to a Metaverse company.

However, Facebook’s own efforts to build a Metaverse have been mixed at best. The company’s social VR apps have gone through multiple iterations without ever getting much traction. Horizon, which has been built as the company’s big social VR bet for the Quest, has been in internal and invite-only testing ever since its announcement nearly two years ago.