It was a big surprise when the Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook Company will be re-branding itself as Meta; with a new focus on the “Metaverse” and virtual reality products.
Few seconds and this news went viral and became the top trend worldwide. But a big misunderstanding happened with majorities as soon as they received the news. They started interacting as if the Facebook’s application name is going to be changed or re-branded.
The answer is no, for people who don’t know what’s really happening, Facebook changed its holding name to Meta, not the app name. Facebook will remain Facebook to us, but the holding and trading names are going to change.
We all know that the majority of people in the last few years, prefer to use other social media applications other than Facebook. And after people thought that Facebook is a dead application, Mark Zuckerberg did a very smart move toward the future.
The “Metaverse” Word Origin
It’s the word that author Neil Stephenson used in a science fiction novel in 1995 to demonstrate an alternative virtual world on the Internet that shares concepts with the real world.
This world is able to close distances, to share various activities remotely with your friends, whether its work, study or entertaining activities, and even spending your day-to-day needs, like buying a household products, grocery items, etc. through a virtual character (Avatar) representing you.
What is the “Metaverse”?
The metaverse is where the physical and digital worlds come together. It is a space where digital representations of people – avatars – interact at work and play, meet in their offices, go to concerts and even try on clothes.
Musicians can do virtual concerts within Facebook, Ohh… sorry, the “Metaverse”.
The world’s biggest fashion companies have also experimented with making virtual clothing, which people’s avatars can wear in metaverse environments.
The “Metaverse” CEO Mark Zuckerberg was planning on this big project since 2014, when he decided to buy “Oculus Company”. He started to work on the Metaverse till he announced it on the last few days.
Zuckerberg said in July that the company will try to transition from being a social media company to a metaverse company in the next five years or so.
The Oculus Company
Oculus is a division of Meta Platforms that produces virtual reality headsets (VR), including the Oculus Rift and Oculus Quest lines.
Launched in 2012, Oculus was bought by data-hungry tech giant Facebook for $2 billion in 2014.
The headsets cost $300 or more, putting the metaverse’s most cutting-edge experiences out of reach for many.
For those who can afford it, users would be able, through their avatars, to flit between virtual worlds created by different companies.
Furthermore, Zuckerberg is going big on what he sees as the next generation of the internet; because he thinks it’s going to be a big part of the digital economy.
But what is the difference between Facebook and other competitors in this technology?
Unlike other companies, Facebook is transforming the real world into an alternative virtual world.
This opens up many opportunities for different areas such as e-commerce, so they can show their products as stores in virtual reality as if they were real.
Like the rest of the companies that focus on adding the virtual world to the real world.
Will This Be Another Way to Get More of Our Data?
Zuckerberg’s embrace of the metaverse in some ways contradicts a central tenet of its biggest enthusiasts. They envision the metaverse as online culture’s liberation from tech platforms like Facebook that assumed ownership of people’s accounts, photos, posts and playlists and traded off what they gleaned from that data.
We want to be able to move around the internet with ease. But we also want to be able to move around the internet in a way we’re not tracked and monitored.
It seems clear that Facebook wants to carry its business model; which is based on using personal data to sell targeted advertising, into the metaverse.
“Ads are going to continue being an important part of the strategy across the social media parts of what we do. It will probably be a meaningful part of the metaverse, too.” Zuckerberg said.
Facebook is trying to lead the way into a virtual world that could require even more personal data; and offer greater potential for abuse and misinformation when it hasn’t fixed those problems in its current platforms.
We see that this is a huge investment that will change our life in the upcoming years. In contrary to all expectations, Zuckerberg is always surprising us by his future visions and ambitions.
What do you think about this paradigm shift? And will it change our current world?
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