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Facebook Has Dedicated About 20% Of Its Workforce To VR/AR Efforts: Report

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Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) has nearly 10,000 people working in its group developing augmented and virtual reality devices, according to a report by The Information (via the Verge).

What Happened: The headcount suggests that almost one-fifth of Facebook’s global workforce is working at the company’s Reality Labs division, as per the report, citing internal organizational data.

A report by UploadVR in 2017 had noted that Facebook’s Oculus VR division employed about 1,000 people at that time, when the social media giant’s total headcount was 18,770. The figures showed that just over 5% of Facebook’s total workforce was working in the VR division.

Intensified Focus: The report in The Information indicates how much Facebook has intensified its focus on the AR/VR segment over the past four years.

The company is also striving to reduce its dependence on Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) (NASDAQ: GOOGL) unit Google, makers of the two dominant mobile operating systems, by building its own consumer hardware.

In a podcast hosted by The Information earlier this week, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg took multiple subtle digs at Apple, seemingly criticizing the expected price and also the pass-through technology that the iPhone maker’s upcoming mixed reality headset might use. Apple’s AR and VR headset may be launched next year.

Also See: Why Facebook Is Not A Fan Of Apple's New Privacy Feature In iOS 14

Oculus Quest 2 VR Headset: Facebook launched its wireless VR headset – the Oculus Quest 2 in September last year. At $299, Quest 2 is priced $100 lower than its predecessor.

Morgan Stanley analyst Brian Nowak noted in January that Facebook’s $400 million in "other revenue" in its fourth-quarter earnings results showed an “early sign of budding success” within the company’s VR efforts.

Price Action: Facebook closed almost 3.4% higher on Thursday at $273.88.

Read Next: Why Facebook So Rattled By Apple's Privacy Changes? Former Employees Explain

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