Tuesday, June 25, 2024

metaverse: Explained: What is Facebook Metaverse and what it means for you

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is not content with just being a social media company. Zuckerberg and Facebook have grand plans with something called the Metaverse. Earlier this year, Zuckerberg told The Verge that for Metaverse, “you can think about it as the successor to the mobile internet.” Now that sounds real ambitious and recently Facebook said that it wants to build the Metaverse responsibly. That caveat is important since it’s Facebook — a company that isn’t synonymous with responsibility exactly. We explain what the Metaverse is and how it may affect you.

What is the Metaverse?

Facebook defines the Metaverse as “a set of virtual spaces where you can create and explore with other people who aren’t in the same physical space as you. You’ll be able to hang out with friends, work, play, learn, shop, create and more. It’s not necessarily about spending more time online — it’s about making the time you do spend online more meaningful.”

Will Metaverse be a single product made by one company?

No, Facebook is clear that the metaverse isn’t a single product one company can build alone. “Just like the internet, the metaverse exists whether Facebook is there or not. And it won’t be built overnight.”

When will Metaverse be ‘ready’?

Facebook says that it will take 10-15 years for Metaverse to fully realise its potential. “While that’s frustrating for those of us eager to dive right in, it gives us time to ask the difficult questions about how they should be built,” says the social media giant.


What is the first ‘product’ of the Metaverse?

Last month, Facebook launched a new Horizon Workrooms app. Workrooms is a virtual meeting space where you and your colleagues can work better together from anywhere, claims Facebook. The app relies on virtual reality or VR using Facebook’s VR headset Oculus. You can join a meeting in VR as an avatar or dial into the virtual room from your computer by video call. You can use a huge virtual whiteboard to sketch out ideas together, bring your computer and keyboard into VR to work together with others, or just have expressive conversations that feel more like you’re together in person. Workrooms — or the first step in the Metaverse — relies on multiple technologies. Using features like mixed-reality desk and keyboard tracking, hand tracking, remote desktop streaming, video conferencing integration, spatial audio, and the new Oculus Avatars, Facebook wants to create a “different kind of productivity experience.”

What sort of technologies will be a part of the Metaverse?

Mark Zuckerberg told The Verge that it’s not just about VR though it will be an important part of that. Metaverse, as per Zuckerberg, is “going to be accessible across all of our different computing platforms; VR and AR, but also PC, and also mobile devices and game consoles.” It will be about gaming, entertainment, social media — all in one environment, so to speak.


What does it mean for you?

The Metaverse is a futuristic concept and Facebook is making all the right noises about it. It is something that will evolve in the years to come. Will it change the way you use social media or the internet? It’s unlikely for the next few years at least. Plus, it will require a monumental tech effort on part of Facebook to actually make it a reality.

Will users opt for the Metaverse?

It is something that remains to be seen. Facebook doesn’t have a great track record of user privacy and data and Metaverse will be a whole new ball game for the company. It will also require a lot of other companies to be a part of this Metaverse for it to become a mainstream thing.

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