Facebook founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg revealed that he wants Facebook to evolve from “being a social media company to being a metaverse company”.
The statement from the top honcho at the biggest social media platform came after earnings reports revealed that the company doubled its quarterly profits.
Even as numerous legislation makes the round to curb Facebook’s power and reach in various countries, Zuckerberg is dreaming of something bigger.
What is the Metaverse?
The metaverse doesn’t have an agreed-upon definition. The term was first coined by noted science fiction author Noel Stephenson in the 1992 novel "Snow Crash". In the novel, the term referred to human avatars interacting with personified software, ala Agent Smith in the Matrix, in a three-dimensional space based on the real world.
The metaverse in essence would be a collective virtual space, created and shared by many companies, where users can interact with virtual reality and augmented reality of the physical space.
“The metaverse is a vision that spans many companies — the whole industry. You can think about it as the successor to the mobile internet,” Zuckerberg said on The Verge’s podcast,
“But you can think about the metaverse as an embodied internet, where instead of just viewing content — you are in it. And you feel present with other people as if you were in other places, having different experiences that you couldn’t necessarily do on a 2D app or webpage, like dancing, for example, or different types of fitness,” Zuckerberg explained.
Why does Zuckerberg believe it is the next big thing?
Zuckerberg is betting on the metaverse being the next evolution of the internet, a step ahead of mobile internet.
"I believe the metaverse will be the successor to the mobile internet, and creating this product group is the next step in our journey to help build it," he said on a Facebook post from July 26.
And it is not just Facebook and Zuckerberg that are going all-in on the metaverse evolution. Other tech companies like Microsoft, Epic Games and Nvidea are also interested in the idea of a metaverse. Concerts and events on Epic Games’ Fortnite have previously been cited as an example of nascent metaverse features before.
But while Zuckerberg is not alone in his vision for the future of the internet, there is no guarantee that such a massive project has any chance of success. Zuckerberg has previously tried to predict future trends and tech, to no great success. Facebook’s cryptocurrency project, Diem, is one such example.
For the near future, Facebook has to contend with a lawsuit from former US President Donald Trump, antitrust lawsuits and a growingly stringent regulatory environment across the globe.
First Published: IST