All Facebook employees can get reimbursed for the purchase of an Oculus Quest 2, according to a tweet by The Information reporter Alex Heath.
Facebook’s last headcount was just over 60,000 employees at the end of March. Even if only some employees take the offer, it may still translate to a significant chunk of people suddenly getting a VR headset. Facebook’s headcount grows at an extraordinary rate on an annual basis — its most recent figures up 26% year-over-year — and recent reports suggested the VR/AR efforts account for more than 10,000 employees.
Facebook’s executives have been noting the popularity of fitness VR apps in recent months, with subscription-based Supernatural joined by FitXR and other efforts to key in on VR-based exercise. The reimbursement program is pitched as one of Facebook’s health and wellness perks for employees.
In an earnings call this week, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg suggested wired VR headsets won’t draw in buyers the same way wireless systems like Quest 2 will, and said he is looking “at how the team is executing and the products that we have in the pipeline, and I want to make sure that we can really go all in and deliver this.”
The comments, hiring spree, and reimbursement plan underscore how serious Zuckerberg in his belief that VR/AR headset represent the future of computing. Apple is said to be planning a VR-focused headset with strong mixed reality capabilities as early as next year while Facebook may be planning a Quest Pro with more sensors onboard for a similar time frame. Meanwhile, Sony is planning a wired follow up to the PlayStation VR headset and HTC is set to announce new VR headsets in the coming weeks.
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