Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook is changing its name to Meta Platforms Inc, or Meta for short. According to AP, this is the biggest development that has happened to the concept of the “metaverse” since it was first used by Neil Stevenson in Avalanche.
But, as the agency notes, Zuckerberg and his team are not the only ones who have their own vision of how a metaverse can function, which will combine the use of virtual reality and other technologies.
And those who have thought about this new world connected with the social media giant are worried that it will gain access to even more user data. The company is already being accused of being unable to stop the spread of misinformation online, which is only exacerbating already existing problems.
What is the metaverse
Zuckerberg describes it as a “virtual environment” that the user can immerse themselves in rather than just watch through a screen. Essentially, it is a world of interconnected, endless virtual communities where people can meet, work, and play using augmented reality glasses, smartphone apps, and other devices.
What can you do in the metaverse
For example, go to an online concert or take a virtual trip. And also create an object of virtual art or buy virtual clothes.
The Metaverse also has the potential to change the remote work world we live in during the pandemic. Instead of looking at colleagues during a video call, you can join them in a virtual office.
Facebook has already released Horizon Workrooms software that can be used with Oculus VR glasses. However, the early ratings of the product were not very high. The headset costs $300 or more, putting the advanced features of the metaverse out of reach for many. Those who can afford it can move in the form of avatars between different virtual worlds created by companies.
“A lot of the metaverse experience will be about being able to teleport from one experience to another,” Zuckerberg says.
However, technology companies will have to negotiate to connect their online platforms with each other. For the metaverse to work, technology companies must come to a common standard. Otherwise, there may be groups of people existing in different metauniverses.
Will Facebook move fully into the metaverse?
Zuckerberg sees the project as the future of the internet as he believes it will become a big part of the digital economy. Critics also believe that such dramatic changes are an attempt to get out of the crisis that began after the publication of materials based on internal documents of Facebook.
Will the company be able to get even more user data in this way?
Zuckerberg’s understanding of the metaverse is somewhat different from how others see it. Metaverse enthusiasts see it as freeing online culture from corporations like Facebook. Such companies receive personal data of users, their photos, posts and playlists, and then trade in the data they received by analyzing the information.
However, Facebook plans to bring its data-based policy to the metaverse as well. According to Zuckerberg, advertising will continue to be an important part of social media and probably the metaverse.
How Facebook got into the virtual world
In July, Facebook announced that it was hiring a metaverse development team that would become part of Facebook Reality Labs, which handles AR and VR projects. Andrew Bosworth, Vice President of Facebook, who is responsible for AR and VR technologies, wrote about this on his page on the social network.
According to him, the metaverse already exists today. Its defining quality is the effect of presence – the feeling that a person in the digital space is nearby. He noted that the Portal video call device and the Oculus virtual reality helmet can already “teleport” the user into a room with another person, regardless of physical distance, or into new virtual worlds.
But in order to achieve a complete vision of the metaverse, it is necessary to build a connective tissue between these spaces so that the user can remove the limitations of physics and move between them with the same ease as moving from one room of his house to another, Bosworth wrote.
Given the fact that Mark Zuckerberg was the first to introduce the basic elements of modern social networks, then arguing about the superiority of other platforms is simply inappropriate. In this regard, they will always be second.