Jobs in the metaverse are declining, according to workplace researcher Revelio Labs.
New monthly job postings across all industries with “metaverse” in the title declined 81 per cent between April and June, Revelio found, after surging in the months following Facebook’s rebranding last fall. The drop-off coincides with a broader pullback across the tech sector, which has prompted lay-offs and hiring freezes, leaving workers from the Bay Area to Bangalore increasingly rattled.
Meta Platforms had slowed hiring in May, but said it has picked back up in recent months. “After temporarily pausing hiring for certain roles at the company, we’re excited to resume it again for some of our highest priority areas,” said spokeswoman Andrea Beasley. The company, which brought on more than 5,700 net new hires in the second quarter, is looking to add talent in areas like machine learning, artificial intelligence and graphics.
Representatives for Google parent Alphabet and Apple, which are also active in developing immersive digital technologies, did not immediately reply to a request to comment.
Meta chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg’s big bet on virtual reality and other nascent, immersive technologies encouraged companies of all stripes to look for experts in those fields, which may have created “short-lived hype from the demand side,” Revelio Labs economist Jin Yan said. Now, as employers recalibrate their hiring needs and labour budgets amid growing concerns of a recession, that hype might come face to face with a sobering reality.
Zuckerberg said on Meta’s July 27 earnings call that he was “slowing the pace” of long-term investments due to the revenue shortfall.
Apple, an emerging rival of Meta’s in the virtual-reality space, said July 28 that it would be “more deliberate” in its recruitment. Alphabet, which has shied away from grand futuristic statements about the internet’s next iteration but is moving quickly in areas like augmented reality, has also slowed hiring.
While full-time metaverse jobs have become more scarce, the number of freelance gigs for metaverse-related services like avatar development and 3D design has more than quadrupled, according to freelance talent marketplace Fiverr International. Bloomberg