Meta, Facebook’s parent company, advertises online that it has several job openings in the Triangle and its LinkedIn posts suggest the company is planning a physical presence.
It remains to be seen what this presence could be. WRALciting unnamed sources, said the attendance would be “meaningful”.
“We have nothing to share regarding the Research Triangle projects at this time,” Meta spokeswoman Jamila Reeves emailed Tuesday evening.
Meta’s Triangle office could focus on the company’s augmented reality research, according to job postings on LinkedIn.
The job board of the site lists several roles in Durham, including a facilities and operations manager for Reality Labs – a subsidiary of Meta working “to build the future of connection in virtual and augmented reality”. Its products include VR headsets and software.
The job posting, uploaded five days ago, suggests Meta will set up an in-person location in Durham. Among his job requirements are “managing the operations of our facility, including day-to-day activities, logistics, and laboratory operations.”
Reality Labs is the successor to Oculus, a leading startup behind early VR technologies, which Facebook acquired in 2014.
Developing the metaverse – a network of digital spaces where users can interact in virtual reality – is at the heart of Meta’s mission. Increased interest in VR technology is one of the reasons Facebook rebranded itself as Meta in October.
Several companies have similar aspirations, including Cary’s Epic Games. The company promoted the metaverse as one of its main projects.
“The Metaverse is a vision that spans many companies — the entire industry,” Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg told The Verge last summer. “You can think of it as the successor to mobile Internet. And it’s certainly not something that any one company is going to build, but I think a lot of our next chapter will hopefully help build that, in partnership with many other companies, creators and developers .
Epic Games did not respond to an email request from The News & Observer asking if a partnership with Meta might be possible.
In addition to Facebook, Meta operates apps like Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp. The meta careers site has jobs in Durham for content designers and product designers.
Meta is headquartered in Menlo Park, California, and has offices across the United States and around the world, including Seattle, New York, Boston, Austin, and Chicago.
Meta already has a presence in North Carolina in the form of a data center in Forest City, in the western part of the state. Meta acquired Kutomera software company that claims a headquarters in Durham, earlier this year.
If Meta were to expand into the Triangle, it would be the latest high-profile tech company to move into the area, which regularly makes it onto “best places to live” lists.
Apple, Google plans in NC
Apple and Google plan to have a significant presence in the Triangle, joining video game giant Epic Games, which is headquartered in Cary.
In April 2021, Apple announced that it would build its East Coast headquarters in Research Triangle Park. Apple will eventually employ around 3,000 people earning an average of $187,000 a year, The News & Observer previously reported.
Apple’s office will be on the Wake County side of Research Triangle Park, the sprawling business center that sits in the heart of the region and is home to hundreds of businesses.
To secure Apple’s commitment, North Carolina approved what was then its largest incentive program for a private company. If Apple hits its hiring goals, it should earn $845.8 million in incentives over 39 years. Wake County plans to spend $20 million.
In the meantime, Apple will set up a temporary store in Cary, The N&O previously reported.
Google announced in March 2021 that it would create 1,000 jobs in Durham city center in the coming years. The company has not negotiated an incentive program with the city or state.
Google said Durham could become one of the company’s top five engineering centers in the United States, along with the Bay Area, New York, Seattle and Kirkland, Washington.