On Thursday, Mark Zuckerberg officially became the CEO and chairman of Meta, the new parent company name for Facebook. The rebrand is about solidifying the social media giant as being about the metaverse, which Zuckerberg sees as the future of the internet. He said:
“I think that there was just a lot of confusion and awkwardness about having the company brand be also the brand of one of the social media apps. I think it’s helpful for people to have a relationship with a company that is different from the relationship with any specific one of the products, that can kind of supersede all of that.”
The metaverse concept originates from Snow Crash, a dystopian novel from the 1990s in which people flee the crumbling real world to be fully immersed in a virtual one. Zuckerberg is trying to reclaim the metaverse as a utopian idea that will unlock an entirely new economy of virtual goods and services, while he acknowledges that the origins of the word are a “con,”
The CEO thinks most people will be spending time in a fully immersive, 3D version of the internet. He’s pushing his teams to build technology that could one day let you show up in a virtual space as a full-bodied avatar, or appear as a hologram of yourself in the real-world living room of your friend who lives across the planet.
Zuckerberg believes there will be a “pretty important role” for crypto technology like NFTs and smart contracts in the metaverse.
Next year, the company plans to introduce Project Cambria, a high-end, mixed reality headset that mixes virtual graphics with the real world in full color. Also in the works is a pair of AR (Augmented reality) glasses called Nazaré.