Facebook Is Growing Its Virtual Reality And Drone Programs
Facebook Inc. is aiming to add nearly 1,200 new employees to its work force to accommodate for the company’s growing commitments in developing virtual reality goggles, drones and data centers. Facebook is planning to grow its ranks as much as 14 percent in the near future, according to a review of job listings on the company’s website.
Virtual Reality Headsets
Oculus Rift, the maker of virtual reality headsets that Facebook acquired in a $2 billion deal last year, is among the key areas planned for growth, with 54 jobs listed on its website, according to a review by Reuters of listings.
The market for virtual reality headsets is still in its infancy. However, if virtual reality takes off, as it’s expected to, for entertainment, gaming, communications or computing, Facebook could be at the center of the new platform with Oculus.
Another very important area of hiring for Facebook is their ambitious effort to build their own satellites and drones capable of delivering Internet service to remote regions of the world. The program has Facebook searching for specialists in areas including avionics, radio frequency communications and thermal engineering.
“We are an ambitious company run by an ambitious CEO,” said Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg in an interview. “Our users are growing and our business is growing and we want to support that,” she said.
Facebook had 8,348 full-time employees at the end of September, a lot less than Google’s roughly 55,000 employees and Microsoft Corp’s 127,000. According to calculations using company revenue figures, however, Facebook gets more out of each of their employees.
Facebook’s revenue works out to roughly $384,000 per employee in the third quarter of 2014, versus $300,000 for Google and $183,000 for Microsoft.
This efficiency has helped Facebook enjoy impressive profit margins, and the company’s relatively small headcount provides an important talking point in the battle to attract the most talented computer programmers.
All of the opportunities that Facebook is looking into could raise the company’s annual revenue to $30 billion within a few years, estimates Arvind Bhatia, an analyst with Sterne, Agee & Leach.