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Why is Facebook so interested in having a metaverse?

What Is the Metaverse Actually and Why Has Facebook jumped into it so hastily? 

July 27, 2022 11:39 AM

Why is Facebook so interested in having a metaverse?

Have you heard about the current fuss about Metaverse and how it could be the next Internet? Social media giant Facebook has just rebranded its name to "Meta". Not only has the title changed, but Facebook's company representative has also been rebranded. Facebook, or Meta, is now not just a social media firm, but a social technology company. At least this is what its unique website branding implies. Organizations like Epic Games, Microsoft, and Roblox have also indicated an interest in this exciting new technology. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's CEO and Founder are very optimistic about Metaverse and how it will forever change the Internet. But before we jump into speculations regarding how useful this technology could be in the end, do we need to understand what the Metaverse is? Trust me, you don't need to be tech-savvy to obtain a grasp of things, so stay put.

What is the "metaverse" then?

The Metaverse is a digital reality with a compilation of factors such as social media, VR (Virtual Reality), AR (Augmented Reality), online gaming, conferencing, and cryptocurrencies, which would allow users to interact with each other effectively. Users have already known about VR with the most recent gen PlayStation, which has improved the gaming experience with the use of AR headsets and sensors. Augmented Reality, on the other hand, is somewhat distinct from Virtual Reality. AR overlays visual components, sounds, and other sensory inputs onto real-world settings, where users can interact with real-life users and not fictional characters, as is the case in VR.

Although Metaverse is in its developing phase, it can create online spaces for users with multidimensional experiences. Today, we are so dependent on digital media like YouTube for entertainment and details. The Metaverse would take the knowledge one stage further, where users would be able to completely immerse themselves in a space where digital and physical worlds converge.

Which companies are on the chase?
Meta

The social media giant Facebook tops the chart with substantial investments in Metaverse, including the 2014 acquisition of Oculus. The company already rebranded its title to Meta last month. The company envisions a virtual world where digital avatars would connect through travel, work, and entertainment with VR headsets.

Microsoft

Microsoft, the software giant, is already known for its use of holograms to create mixed and vast reality applications with its Microsoft Mesh Platform, which connects the real world with AR and VR. The company is also looking to study 3D virtual connected spaces for retail and the workplace.

Epic Games

This is probably the company that is experimenting with this technology the most. To be fair, this company developed Fortnite Creative, which granted users, the freedom to make their own worlds and battle arenas. No wonder this company is investing in making the Metaverse. The company has already held in-game concerts of the currently developing photorealistic digital humans with its MetaHuman Creator. This element would assist in customizing digital Doppelgangers in future AR games.

Roblox

The forum is well known for its user-generated games that include role-playing offerings like Bloxburg and Brookhaven. Just like in Fortnite Creative, users are given the full right to make homes, work, and play out strategies. Roblox has been a long-time visioner of the Metaverse. On the day of the company's IPO, its CEO, David Baszucki, tweeted a thank you to all of its community, which helped it inch effort closer to fulfilling the company's vision of the Metaverse. Roblox has partnered with skateboarding shoe company, Vans, to make Vans, a virtual skateboarding park where participants can dress up in fresh Vans gear.

But Facebook is leading the mission. No Doubt!

Facebook or Meta is the one company that has carried an earlier charge of something as far as Metaverse is concerned. The company is taking rigorous actions to improve the picture with billions and billions of dollars in investments.

Zuckerberg has stated that no one company could make the whole Metaverse. Rather, Metaverse would need collaboration across industries, with professionals, governments, and regulators to get things done directly. But despite all these words from Facebook, the company is trying to take a key position in the Metaverse. Zuckerberg is extremely very bullish on Metaverse's future. He has gone as far as stating that the Metaverse is the next mobile internet, or typically the internet.

We understand how the mobile internet reshaped the globe, permitting users to go online anywhere, any place in the world. Companies like Facebook were at the helm of this process, which let their companies exist. A lot is at stake for Facebook in Metaverse, as it bets on this idea succeeding. The company is already placing the brightest engineering minds behind this task. Reports suggest that more than 10,000 people were hired to work on this project. Tens of billions of dollars have been invested in this task. As we all know, Zuckerberg has exclusive authority over the company and its findings. With more and more investments and help to come, Metaverse's success has almost become a necessity for Facebook.

But Facebook's hasty jump into the Metaverse is raising a lot of eyebrows.

Frances Haugen, a whistleblower, and a former Facebook employee, just released several documents explaining Facebook's company model of encouraging hate speech and political polarization-oriented content on its platform to maximize its earnings. TheVerge.com provided the image

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Facebook's rushed approach and the investment flowing into the Metaverse may have to do with competition and power. For a long time, Facebook was confined to the confines of Apple and Google, which created the best two mobile operating systems of the era: iOS and Android. Facebook, which doesn't control any operating system, is required to adhere to the terms and conditions of these organizations. Facebook has had a long history of problems with Apple, over the fees it charges for investments made in iPhone apps and the general stringent terms it exercises on businesses like Facebook. The Metaverse could allow Facebook to leap forward against its rivals and be less reliant on them. This is indeed a golden chance for Facebook to create value and get the upper hand.

However, some industry professionals, competitors, and those close to Facebook see the company's hasty jump as a diversion from managing the company's real-world problems and charges surrounding it.

Facebook recently faced a lot of heat due to content that encourages hate speech, the reach of misinformation, or teenagers' mental health on its platform. A couple of months back, a former Facebook employee, Frances Haugen, removed several records and analytics, criticizing Facebook for disseminating hate on its platform just for the sake of maximizing its earnings.

It's a lot more pleasure to create a metaverse than it is to answer the hard questions. "Facebook is under fire for issues such as political polarization, misinformation, and hate speech," Brian Boland, a former Vice President of partnerships and marketing, told Recode.

Facebook might get even more control over our future.

A statement from Statista.com indicates that Facebook presently has a user base of more than 2.89 billion, making it the largest social media network in the world by far. Its current aims towards Metaverse building, indicate that if Metaverse evolves successfully, Facebook would evolve into an even larger and stronger business than it is today. As noted early, the two larger tech giants, Apple and Google, are the ones that set the parameters for businesses like Facebook. Despite government rules, private codes from big tech firms are the ones that support the likes of Facebook, which would evolve independently of any rules and regulations given that Facebook tends to be the pioneering founder of the Metaverse. Facebook might have lost control over a major app store, distributing Metaverse applications. Facebook would handle the VR headsets and maybe everything else over the suggested future internet.

Possibilities

Looking at what Metaverse gets to the plain, even more, people would shift to Facebook, as the leading immersive and interactive medium for doing your thing on the internet. Metaverse gets another challenge: privacy and misuse of biometric data. The Metaverse would break open a new haven of databases. which would have finger movements, facial directions, and who understands brain reading, in the future. And glancing at Facebook's current history, you wouldn't be perfectly satisfied with Facebook being the pioneer of this technology.

It may take approximately 10 years before we get a full-scale program for Metaverse. Whether it would succeed or not, and, more importantly, if it does! Will Facebook be the pioneer behind Metaverse? It is worth the spectacle. Before the Metaverse becomes a reality, a lot of jobs, a lot of effectiveness, and a lot of regulatory frameworks will have to be prepared.

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