It can be called a breakthrough in technology, a promotion strategy, or a nightmare in technology… It is the metaverse – the simplest definition is a virtual world where people can interact. , work and play. Mark Zuckerberg – CEO of Facebook believes that is the future of the Internet and of this trillion-dollar company.
Facebook’s investment in metaverse
The keyword “metaverse” became popular after Facebook changed the company name to Meta in October 2021. Many people are still trying to figure out exactly what a metaverse is and whether to consider this futuristic concept in a different way. serious or not.
Facebook’s metaverse idea is not the first, many other companies like Roblox, Nvidia and Microsoft have been building their virtual worlds using VR or AR technology. Facebook’s version of the metaverse has so far consisted of cartoonish, clumsy, and often legless digital avatars.
Despite the criticisms aimed at Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg still sees the metaverse as the “successor of the mobile internet”, a broadcast that has reshaped our lives by allowing users to go online anywhere. and increase the viability of many types of businesses on Facebook. If Facebook’s metaverse becomes a reality like Zuckerberg’s plans, it could shake the world, transforming our existence from the physical to the digital world.
“This will not be the work of one company alone. It will require collaboration across the industry and with experts, governments, and regulators to get it right,” Bosworth and Clegg added as if to assert that Facebook doesn’t want to be the only one developing the metaverse…
They are betting on this new concept, and have recruited the brightest technical minds in the world to work on this project, acquired AR and VR companies, and hired over 10,000 people to work and support. this initiative with tens of billions of dollars. Zuckerberg, who ends up having unilateral control over his company, seems genuinely excited about that.
While it’s still unclear when we’re likely headed towards a future where everyone can use some unspecified version of the metaverse to go online. Facebook is determined to play a major role in building and shaping this new field, which means that even if Facebook doesn’t own the metaverse alone (as it claims it won’t), it’s still trying to capture it. control over it. That means Facebook could one day have more influence on our daily lives.
So even if a business never wants to get into the metaverse, it should still pay attention to it and how Facebook is investing in it.
What is Metaverse?
On a philosophical level, as Zuckerberg and many others have defined, the metaverse is a way for us to make our virtual lives more seamlessly integrate with real life..
In a speech in October, Zuckerberg articulated his vision, and that of the metaverse: “We’re right next to everyone, no matter how far apart we really are, we’ll be able to express ourselves. in fun, completely immersive new ways.”
The idea of the metaverse is to create a richer internet in which we will use technology like AR and VR to engage in virtual experiences and spaces instead of the real world. The term was first coined in Neal Stephenson’s 1992 science fiction novel Snow Crash, but now Zuckerberg and many other tech executives want to make it a reality.
For now, however, any conversation about the metaverse is hypothetical. Facebook was the first to say it was a stub. Zuckerberg has said that it “doesn’t quite exist yet” and that they are laying the first bricks.
Facebook’s metaverse product currently possesses very impressive graphics, a new and quite interesting experience like the characteristics of a virtual world. However, it also exposes weaknesses that reflect how young the technology is. We have not been able to use it for a long time, especially outside of entertainment and gaming, still limited to the feature of setting personal avatars, “no legs” and the Oculus headset (made by Facebook). development) is still too heavy for a comfortable experience. Those are the major technical and technological challenges that Facebook will invest in.
The reason why Facebook pursues the metaverse
Unlike Apple or Google that made iOS and Android, Facebook does not control the operating system. In the past, Facebook has been notoriously hostile to Apple over transaction fees made on iPhone apps and the control it exerts over Facebook through its developer terms. For Facebook, this is an opportunity for them to become less dependent on Apple and Google.
Currently, the two tech giants that control the penetration of the mobile Internet, Apple and Google, have set some parameters around Facebook’s business. Facebook designs its mobile application software to run on the operating systems of Apple and Google. In return, Apple and Google take a 30% cut of any financial transactions in Facebook’s iPhone app (a policy Facebook has long condemned). Apple can also pressure Facebook over its content policies, as in 2019 tensions between the two companies flared up after Apple threatened to take Facebook out of the App Store if Facebook prevented people from using it. Use Apple’s platform to attract domestic workers in the Middle East.
Metaverse opens up a potential future for Facebook, freeing them from the constraints mentioned above. Suppose Facebook succeeds as the pioneering founder of the metaverse. In that case, it will be able to sell VR headsets used to access the metaverse and control a large app store that distributes apps within the metaverse. All of that will give Facebook control and influence over the internet in the future.
Facebook says it takes privacy, censorship, and safety concerns seriously, and a blog post by future Meta CTO Andrew Bosworth said: “technology opens up new possibilities and There may also be a risk, and we must keep that in mind as we design, iterate, and bring products to market. We want people to feel like they’re in control of their VR experience and feel safe on our platform.” He also said Facebook is working with partners including civil rights groups, government agencies, and nonprofits to make the metaverse safe, and has also funded relevant outside research. Mandarin.
Facebook’s efforts could normalize sharing of our private lives on the internet as well as spending time in the metaverse. During the pandemic, the line between real life and digital life has become more blurred, as billions of people around the world have depended on technology in “unprecedented” ways to connect with others. others through interactive games, virtual offices, etc.
Facebook will have to convince people to give up real-world time to join the metaverse and trust them. Instead, users can also use competing metaverse products from Microsoft or possibly Apple – they are said to be working on their own VR/ARs.
Given the many unknowns and potential challenges, it’s too early to say whether the metaverse will truly become the next version of the web, and even if it does, whether Facebook will be the one to dominate. If Zuckerberg doesn’t stop being ambitious and continues to invest thousands of employees and billions of dollars in pursuing this idea, chances are the metaverse won’t stop at a quirky idea from a billionaire CEO.
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