Zuckerberg’s Metaverse Has Left A Lot Of Us Very Confused. So What The Hell Is It?

Zuckerberg’s Metaverse Has Left A Lot Of Us Very Confused. So What The Hell Is It?

Facebook’s latest mission to rebrand itself as the “Metaverse” has led some to believe that they’re on their way to a dystopian Matrix-like future where Mark Zuckerberg reigns supreme and the citizens are trapped in a hallucination of reality. This isn’t quite right but I can understand why people would think that. So what actually is the Metaverse and how will it change the future of social media? 

First of all “Meta” is the new brand name for Facebook. Zuckerberg says that the name change is because Facebook is the name of the specific social media site and is not representative of the realm of apps and social media sites that Facebook owns.

Some changes with Meta include their financial reporting, as they plan to report on two operating segments as of their fourth quarter: Family of Apps and Reality Labs. They also plan on trading under the new stock sticker “Meta” by December 1st. However none of this will change how Meta shares data.

Now, the Metaverse, according to Zuckerberg, “is a new phase of interconnected virtual experiences using technologies like virtual and augmented reality.”

“It’s the next evolution in a long line of social technologies, and it’s ushering in a new chapter for our company.”

The Metaverse will be a hybrid of today’s Facebook owned online social media experiences, an interactive embodied internet where people aren’t just staring at a screen, but living in a virtual reality with their friends, families and peers.

“In this future, you will be able to teleport instantly as a hologram to be at the office without a commute, at a concert with friends, or in your parents’ living room to catch up,” said Zuckerberg.

But how will the Metaverse actually function? Well the first thing you’ll see when you put on your headset is your Horizon Home.

This space can be whatever you want it to be. It could be an exact replication of your actual home or it could be a snowy cabin on the top of a mountain, but it will be the first space you experience when you enter the Metaverse.

The Horizon Home can also exist as a home workspace, something Zuckerberg believes will both be the future of working from home and environmentally friendly.

“Over the last year and a half, a lot of us who work in offices have gone remote. And while I miss seeing the people I work with I think remote work is here to stay for a lot of people. So we’re gonna need better tools to work together.”

“Imagine if you could be at the office without the commute. You would still have that sense of presence, shared physical space, those chance interactions that make your day all accessible from anywhere. Now imagine that you have your perfect work set up and you can actually do more than you could in your regular work set up.”

Another aspect of the metaverse is Horizon Worlds: a VR space where users can build worlds and jump into them with people. Playing games, hanging out or even throwing a virtual surprise party will all be a possibility in the Metaverse with Horizon Worlds, according to Meta. 

Now Meta plans to subsidise the cost of VR devices so the Metaverse isn’t a niche cyberspace for the ultrawealthy. They want to maximise the creator economy and reduce fees where possible. 

It goes without saying that the Metaverse is a great way to capitalise on Meta’s acquisition of Oculus a few years ago, but it’s also an interesting way for consumers to utilise it. While VR seems like a niche technology for only those who want to ride a rollercoaster from home or experience a new gaming reality, the metaverse will create a social dimension that VR hasn’t seen much of before. 

Meta has announced plans in the future to provide a multitude of features to the metaverse. Presence Platform, an immersive mixed-reality platform, Interaction SDK, allowing developers to add high quality hand interactions to their apps, Project Cambria, an advanced version of the Metaverse, and Nazarre Glasses, the first full-augmented reality glasses, are some of the announcements for the future of the metaverse. 

As to whether the Metaverse will completely revolutionise the future of social media, or if we have another Google Glass situation on our hands is something we’ll have to find out, nonetheless I’m excited to see where this takes us.  




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