Facebook has taken the next steps in expanding the Metaverse concept, announcing a new $ 50 million investment in research programs that will explore how to responsibly develop digital Metaverse and ensure that all related products are “built” in a way that includes and empowers. “
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently went all-in at Metaverse, in an interview in which he explained that he sees Facebook eventually becoming a ‘Metaverse company’.
This new investment is another step in that direction, while the recently announced promotion of Facebook AR / VR boss Andrew Bosworth to the company’s CTO position also indicates continued progress on that path.
According to Facebook:
“As we focus on helping build the next computing platform, our work on augmented and virtual reality and consumer hardware will deepen that human connection regardless of physical distance and without binding to devices. ”
So what exactly is Metaverse and why is it important to you and me?
Much like AI before it, the ‘metaverse’ is already a highly misused and misrepresented concept, sometimes intentionally, in an attempt to exploit gaps in knowledge, other times because there are no strict definitions or parameters, as such, meaning that many things theoretically could fit into the metaverse, or a metaverse, however much.
To clarify, the actual definition of ‘metaversion’ is:
“A virtual reality space where users can interact with a computer-generated environment and other users. ”
Viral reality, in this context, does not really refer to VR separately – the metaverse is any simulated environment, in which users can communicate, generally through digital avatars, creating a new, sensitive environment within our normal reality.
In this sense, there are already many variations of the ‘metaverse’. Roblox is, in itself, a metaverse, like Fortnite, or indeed, any online multiplayer game, that provides a platform for user interaction in the simulated space.
But those are smaller elements – a bigger view, or The Metaverse (with the capital letter ‘M’) is a much broader concept, where instead of these smaller, niche virtual communities, there would be a large digital connectivity platform that anyone could connect to at any time and lead a wide range of activities in this space.
So you could still, for example, include Roblox in a larger Metaverse, but connect to that part via a larger platform, while you could also communicate outside of these separate applications in a larger digital sandbox.
So it’s like Ready Player One, but in real life it provides an escape to people, as well as a fun playground, where anyone can be anything they want to be.
This is where digital avatars appear.
No doubt you’ve seen elements of the NFT movement, where people buy, for example, boring monkeys digital avatars at insane prices.
While animated characters alone may not seem worth the millions of people who pay, visuals act as a kind of digital status symbol, emphasizing the connection to Internet culture, while also seen as an investment amid the growing NFT market.
The next step will also display these characters translated into digital avatar, providing the same prestige and digital credit in the evolving Metaverse concept.
Thus, they basically create a work of art for multiple purposes, with the aim of expanding the concept, and with digital “skins” that already sell millions in online games, it is easy to imagine that these one-time works of art will prove popular as we move on to the next phase.
But then comes the harder concept – who is hosting that next platform and building the real Metaverse?
This is where Facebook wants to go. As stated, the company, with its vast resources and experience in social cohesion, wants to become a ‘Metaverse company’, which in this context could also be seen as ‘The Metaverse ‘Company. The overall view is that Metaverse will be similar to the Internet, where there will be no central host or platform, but an open framework on which anyone can upgrade.
However, it is less clear how exactly this happens, and although there are ideas about open source on Blockchain or formulating similar independent support, it seems to be reduced to a few large facilitators who will host key elements of the Metaverse database and therefore retain control. at least some of the key aspects.
This is where Facebook wants to go. Looking at the next phase of digital connectivity, Facebook is trying to connect its various projects, including AR and VR development, with the growing concept of Metaverse. Facebook is probably already at the forefront of VR, the future of virtual connectivity, and if it can now enter and become a facilitator of key parts of the Metaverse – a large one that connects everything else – it can position itself as a key platform for the future and all different interactions that can occur in digital space.
So while this may seem like a vague concept, the impetus is clear – and with the growth of VR headset sales, and the increasing momentum of NFTs and other digital connectivity tools, Facebook is essentially reading the game and heading for where it goes again. , in order to preserve relevance.
Will it work? Definitely, the potential here is huge – and apps like Snapchat are also working to align with the next shift by adding digital clothing and other products that will only exist in the virtual space.
If you want to see where the next big trends are being created, it’s among young people, and during a pandemic, with time that screen time lengthens more and more as a counter to lock boredom, kids are definitely getting more used to hanging out with friends in digital form and they communicate their personal style through their characters on the screen.
In ten years, when these young men move to the next stage, these common trends could be embedded and aligned with the simultaneous rise of technology, you can see why Zuck and Co. could see this as a direction.
As such, this is probably just the first and smaller investment we will see from the Social Network, with the goal of owning part of the next connection process.
Friendly communicator. Music maven. Explorer. Pop culture trailblazer. Social media practitioner.