Here’s what Facebook wants to do with 1,200 more employees

Facebook is growing its head count by as much as 14 percent according to a new Reuters report. It has 1,200 open job listings on its website, mostly for virtual reality roles with Oculus Rift. It’s also hiring for its drones, data centers, and Atlas advertising efforts. None of the roles mentioned by Reuters support Facebook’s core business: Its social media application. Facebook is pulling a Google, expanding into new industries to protect itself.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg placed a sizeable bet that virtual reality will be the next big thing in mobile computing when he bought Oculus Rift for $2 billion in March last year. That’s exactly what he told media, explaining, “When you put on the goggles, it’s different from anything I have ever experienced in my life.” Oculus has stayed pretty quiet since coming under Facebook’s purview, but Reuters analysts suspect the big staff up in positions like logistics and global supply management mean the company is getting ready to launch to the public.

If you don’t follow the company closely, you might be confused at the positions Facebook is hiring for to support its drone technology development: Roles like thermal engineering and aircraft electronics. Remember Internet.org, Facebook’s big ambitious project to bring Internet connections to parts of the developing world? That’s what it hopes to use drones for, and it needs people with expertise in these areas to make that happen. If Internet.org succeeds it will ultimately benefit Facebook. Reliable, fast internet in more parts of the world — the two thirds of the population currently without Internet — likely means far more Facebook (and WhatsApp and Instagram) users.

In the last few years, Facebook has moved quickly and deftly into these new business endeavors, not content to rest on its cooling social media laurels. It has grown largely through acquisition, snapping up separate, independent companies and product like Oculus, Atlas Ad Server, WhatsApp, and Instagram, instead of trying to build them from scratch. CEO Mark Zuckerberg is investing in Facebook’s future stability and growth, a smart move given the fact that its core social product has faded in relevance with younger populations. Eventually teens grow up and become the new adults, slowly decreasing Facebook’s power over time.

It needed to diversify to ensure its future.

 

 

 

With Yelp cash-rich and hungry, Qype steps up its game

Qype is Europe’s answer to Yelp, and it’s grown to more than 25 million users around the continent. But is a new publicity campaign touting its expansion a prelude to further investment — or is it shopping around for a sale?

Rumor Has It: Apple Putting 3G Into MacBooks, Rendering USB Sticks Useless

nousbstickAs if I didn’t have enough USB sticks sitting around doing nothing (512KB flash drives, Bluetooth and 2.4GHz wireless dongles, etc.). Now it looks like my 3G mobile broadband USB modem might soon join the ranks of the neglected and forgotten. Not because 4G networks are being built out as we speak, but because it looks like Apple (s aapl) is gearing up to start building 3G radios into their notebook computers. It’s about time, too, and frankly I’m surprised that more computer manufacturers haven’t gone this route long ago, considering the significant added incentive to buyers of having wide-coverage Internet access built in to their machines.

News of the new direction for Mac hardware comes from job postings, which have been garnering quite a bit of attention for Apple lately, considering the recent buzz about chip-making related positions. Now Cupertino seems to be looking for a few good 3G QA, design, and testing engineers to join their camp. The job descriptions, listed on their Hardware Engineering jobs site, list a variety of wireless specifications, with 3G among them, and the jobs in question talk about Mac applications specifically, so this isn’t just an iPhone-oriented position, as I initially suspected. Read More about Rumor Has It: Apple Putting 3G Into MacBooks, Rendering USB Sticks Useless