Mark Zuckerberg has said that Facebook will “effectively transition from being a social media company … to being a metaverse company”.
There is no specific definition of the metaverse, but venture capitalist Matthew Ball – who was recommended on the subject by Mr Zuckerberg in an interview ledge – to depart many features it could be: The metaverse is a space that is persistent, synchronous, spans both the digital and physical worlds, offers “unprecedented interoperability” and includes a fully functioning economy. It is intended as an “embedded Internet”, as described by Zuckerberg.
The Metaverse, in Zuckerberg’s vision, will be about “engaging more naturally” with behaviours that we are already exhibiting – such as reaching for our smartphones shortly after waking up.
“We have these phones. They’re relatively small. A lot of the time that we’re spending, we’re basically mediating our lives and our communications through these little, glowing rectangles. I think really This is not how people are made to interact”, Mr Zuckerberg said, adding that the technology should emulate “some shared sense of space in general”.
Mr Zuckerberg has made similar comments before, speculating that humans should be “teleporting, not transporting themselves” to different environments via virtual and mixed reality environments. This can happen through multiple devices, and while many people think of the metaverse in terms of virtual reality headsets, Zuckerberg proposed that VR, AR (augmented, or mixed, reality), PCs, mobile devices and Game consoles stay in touch. He also said:
“I think it’s probably going to look like some kind of a hybrid between the social platform we see today, but an environment where you’re embodied in it.”
One of the benefits of this ecosystem would be that “If you go back 20 or 30 years, many people’s personal opportunities and experiences were determined by their physical proximity”, and this easy movement through virtual space can avoid such obstacles.
Mr Zuckerberg didn’t notice that, while much of the technology has been democratized over the years, there is still a substantial digital divide between demographics and the increased digitization risks that are driving them out of more critical services.
Facebook has invested in virtual and augmented reality, particularly through its Oculus Quest headset, because “mobile phones came about at the same time as Facebook, so we really had a big role to play in shaping the growth of those.” Didn’t get to play a role platform”, Zuckerberg said. Smartphones mediating users’ access to Facebook has been a controversial topic lately, with Apple blocking ad tracking on the iPhone which is a huge blow to Facebook. generates profit.
Current virtual reality headsets are “clunky”, but Zuckerberg envisions that we will eventually have “normal-looking glasses” – albeit an entire computer capable of “perceiving and mapping the world” in a five-millimetre-thick eyeglass frame. Creating is a “real challenge”.
Technological advances aside, one issue that will need to be addressed is regulation of the metaverse — and oversight is an issue that has plagued Facebook for years.
Zuckerberg also noted that a good vision for the metaverse is not what makes a specific company, but it must have a sense of interoperability and portability. He added that protocols such as the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Internet standards should be in place, to define how experiences will be constructed.