Facebook goes all-in on Oculus — expands VR and AR division to nearly 10,000 people

Oculus Quest 2
(Image credit: Facebook/Oculus)

No one can deny the success of the Oculus Quest 2, and with the number of Facebook employees now working on AR glasses and VR headsets, we could see a virtual boatload of new products and software updates down the line.

Facebook now has nearly 10,000 employees working in its Reality Labs division, making up a fifth of the company's entire workforce — a significant increase from its 1,000-person strong team back in 2017, according to Upload VR

This comes from a recent report from The Information stating Facebook wants to rely on its own consumer hardware so it won't have to depend on Apple or Google to get its software across to customers. With the huge success of the Oculus Quest 2, it seems to be doing a great job.

As of December 2020, according to Statista, Facebook has more than 58,000 employees, a massive increase from its 18,000 back in 2017. While this means many more divisions (including one that may be working on Facebook's own Clubhouse app) received a significant boost in support, seeing a massive increase of people working on Facebook's AR and VR hardware is a sign that it wants to be top dog in virtual reality.

The VR division is seemingly hard at work on expanding the Oculus ecosystem. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg confirmed that the company is continuing to work on new hardware, one that will "kind of fit the same platform" as the Quest 2. While no official name for the new device is stated, Zuckerberg did mention that the "content that works on Quest 2 should be forward compatible."

Facebook is also reportedly working on a pair of smart AR glasses, which will apparently replace people's laptops and smartphones in the most sci-fi way possible. Hopefully, the boost in employee count will speed up production.

Competition is heating up in the VR world, as Apple's VR headset is also making waves, while HTC Vive recently released a facial tracker module that can translate 28 facial features to the VR world. However, with the very affordably priced Oculus Quest 2 expected to get a 120Hz upgrade later this year, and with rumors of an Oculus Quest 3, Facebook may not be too worried. 

Darragh Murphy

Darragh Murphy is fascinated by all things bizarre, which usually leads to assorted coverage varying from washing machines designed for AirPods to the mischievous world of cyberattacks. Whether it's connecting Scar from The Lion King to two-factor authentication or turning his love for gadgets into a fabricated rap battle from 8 Mile, he believes there’s always a quirky spin to be made. With a Master’s degree in Magazine Journalism from The University of Sheffield, along with short stints at Kerrang! and Exposed Magazine, Darragh started his career writing about the tech industry at Time Out Dubai and ShortList Dubai, covering everything from the latest iPhone models and Huawei laptops to massive Esports events in the Middle East. Now, he can be found proudly diving into gaming, gadgets, and letting readers know the joys of docking stations for Laptop Mag.