Thursday, May 19

Facebook will hire 2,000 people in Spain and will build a submarine cable

Meta, the parent company of Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram, has announced that the 1,000 million euros it will invest in installing its data center for southern Europe in Talavera de la Reina is just one part of a broader plan to increase its presence in Spain. In addition to this infrastructure, the multinational announced this Tuesday that it will anchor “the world’s first half-petabit transatlantic submarine cable” in a Spanish port, that it will “double” its offices in Madrid by hiring some 2,000 people and that it will open “the first Meta Lab of the world”, a support center for its remote workers “with space for technological entrepreneurs and startup local”.

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The multinational thus consolidates Spain as its regional base of operations. “When our company looks to the future, the advantages of Spain make it logical to invest here”, explains Javier Olivan, Vice President of Expansion and Infrastructure at Meta, which opened its first office in the country in 2015. “We place Spain in the center of our plans by creating new highly qualified jobs, supporting entrepreneurs and local technology companies and investing in essential digital infrastructure”, he stresses.

Meta has not confirmed the place where its new submarine cable will be anchored. Its construction will be added to Marea, the cable with which Meta linked Bilbao with Virginia (USA) in 2018. These infrastructures are key in the current Internet since 98% of the total network traffic runs through them.

The multinational points out that it hopes that Spain will be one of the places from which it can build the metaverse, the network of spaces in virtual reality that it sees as the next evolution of the Internet. Its founder, Mark Zuckerberg, has made a strong commitment to this new technology, investing billions in device research and development. Meta indicates that it will seek “collaborations between industry, academia and the Government” to develop the metaverse “responsibly”.

The Government has welcomed the expansion of Meta. “We celebrate the company’s investments in our country that will generate 2,000 jobs. Spain is a hub of talent and entrepreneurship and will continue to be at the forefront of digitization, supporting technologies such as the Metaverse”, President Pedro Sánchez wrote on Twitter. “Meta’s investments in Spain consolidate our country as a technological hub of world reference,” added Nadia Calviño, Vice President of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation.

The investment package clears up doubts about a possible exit from Europe, a possibility that Meta left open in a letter to the US stock market regulator. However, the announcement comes at the most critical moment in the company’s history at the stock market level, which has lost almost 50% of its value so far this year. His difficulties in circumventing the new and stricter privacy regulations, as well as doubts about the short and medium-term future of metaverse technology, sow doubts among investors.