The term Metaverse was first coined by Neal Stephenson in his novel, “Snow Crash” released in 1992. And recently enough, Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg announced that they are changing their name to Meta Platforms Inc. or in short, Meta. On a superficial level, this may seem just a name change — but it is well beyond that. In this blog, we will understand what is metaverse, its implications, and how it will affect the way we interact with Facebook. That really sounds exciting, isn’t it?
What is Metaverse?
In simple words, Metaverse is a parallel world where you can experience the internet in 3D. To put it in Mark Zuckerberg’s words, it is a ‘virtual environment’ you can interact with instead of just looking at a screen.
To be more specific, Metaverse will have endless interconnected virtual communities where people can meet, and interact with others via VR headsets, AR glasses, mobile apps, and several other similar devices.
Metaverse will comprise immersive shopping and social media experiences. It will be a place where users can create their own virtual items and playgrounds. They can play 3D games with highly personalized avatars that create a more engaging human experience.
“It’s the next evolution of connectivity where all of those things start to come together in a seamless, doppelganger universe, so you’re living your virtual life the same way you’re living your physical life,”
– Victoria P. (Emerging Technologies Analyst)
What Can you Do In Metaverse?
Metaverse will open up a lot of possibilities and will allow us to harness the untapped potential of the virtual world and social media services. You’d be able to host a virtual concert (or go to one), try/buy new clothes, play personalized games, craft digital artwork, etc.
The metaverse will also allow the employers to create a virtual office where everyone can see and interact with each other as if they were right in front of them. Horizon Workrooms, Facebook’s meeting software, aims to achieve this objective via VR headsets that can turn out to be one of the most immersive experiences of the Metaverse.
“A lot of the metaverse experience is going to be around being able to teleport from one experience to another.”
– Mark Zuckerberg
Tech companies, like Facebook, have a lot of work to do before they can offer a seamless and interconnected Meraverse experience to their users. In an ideal world, people in the Facebook Metaverse should be able to interact and engage with users from Google Metaverse. For that to happen, these companies will have to find common platforms through which they can seamlessly exchange data while keeping users’ privacy intact.
Is Facebook Going All-in on the Metaverse?
By the looks of it, yes. The company is investing heavily into the project as they think it is going to play a major role in the digital economy we’re in. They would be investing about $10 billion on Metaverse this year alone. That’s a huge number.
Facebook has also collaborated with Microsoft and Nvidia to scale the project. That’s not all. Video game companies have also been taking keen interest in Metaverse. In fact, Epic Games has raised over $1 billion from investors to build games compatible with Metaverse.
With the ever increasing hype, more and more companies are jumping into this space. And to ensure they are ahead of the curve, Facebook is going all-in on Metaverse.
Is Metaverse Similar to the Internet?
In one of the interviews, Mark Zuckerberg compared Metaverse with the internet by describing it as ‘an embodied internet’ — a place where people can have immersive experiences that a webpage can not offer.
As a matter of fact, one of the key benefits of Metaverse is considered ‘immersion’ — a sense of physically engaging with the world around you instead of watching them through a tab. For instance, interacting with your employees on Facebook Horizon may feel more natural than Zoom/Google Meet thumbnails.
It’s hard to compare Metaverse with the internet. After all, text-heavy internet comes with a lot of advantages. Buying high-end gaming consoles or supercomputers and VR tech can be expensive. Furthermore, in remote areas where internet connectivity is a challenge, people may not be able to access ‘the Metaverse’.
Thus, it is safe to say that Metaverse cannot replace the entire internet, at least not in the foreseeable future.
Is this a yet another stunt to collect more data?
The Metaverse will give Facebook access to a lot more personal data than the conventional internet. With this project, the company will continue to use personal data to show targeted ads, into the Metaverse.
“Ads are going to continue being an important part of the strategy across the social media parts of what we do, and it will probably be a meaningful part of the metaverse, too.“
People are concerned that Facebook trying to enter into Metaverse can give the company access to even more personal data. Given their reputation when it comes to privacy and data management, it’s quite alarming.
Metaverse — A Huge Opportunity
A new era of the internet is being innovated. Its implications on our world will be massive. Companies will have to adapt to this change in order to continue thriving in this new space. They will have to be creative and push limits of innovation to embrace the Metaverse. With so much happening at such a pace, the question is, are you ready for the change?
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