Barbara Potrč, 10. 5. 2022
At Connect 2021, CEO Mark Zuckerberg introduced Meta. A vision that brings together apps and technologies under one new company brand. Its focus will be to bring the metaverse to life and help people connect, find communities, and grow their businesses. The word “meta” comes from the Greek word meaning “beyond”.
The metaverse is set to feel like a hybrid of our today’s online social experiences, sometimes expanded into three dimensions or projected into the physical world. It will actually let you share immersive experiences with other people, even when you can’t be physically together. It’s the next evolution in a long line of social technologies, and it brings a new chapter to Facebook, now known as the Meta company.
Mark Zuckerberg said “We are a company that builds technology to connect, together, we can finally put people at the center of our technology. And together, we can unlock a massively bigger creator economy.” He said the name Facebook doesn’t fully encompass everything the company does now and is still closely linked to one product. “But over time, I hope we are seen as a metaverse company.”
But what actually is the so-called metaverse? Right now, tech industry figures who talk about “the metaverse” are usually excited about digital platforms that include some of the following things:
· Feature sets that overlap with older web services or real-world activities
· Real-time 3D computer graphics and personalized avatars
· A variety of person-to-person social interactions that are less competitive and goal-oriented than stereotypical games
· Support for users creating their own virtual items and environments
· Links with outside economic systems so people can profit from virtual goods
· Designs that seem well-suited to virtual and augmented reality headsets, even if they usually support other hardware as well
But in most current discourse, “the metaverse” arguably isn’t a fixed set of attributes. It’s an aspirational term for a future digital world that feels more tangibly connected to our real lives and bodies. In an interview with The Verge, Mark Zuckerberg described the metaverse as “an embodied internet,” basically an upgraded version of the internet where people can have “different experiences that you couldn’t necessarily do on a 2D app or webpage.” One of the metaverse’s key benefits is supposed to be “presence” — a sense that you’re physically engaging with places and people instead of watching them through a window.
Will the metaverse bring us just another form of advertising like Social Media? Tim Sweeney, a game developer, predicts a world beyond ads, which is still full of big pop culture franchises and brands building name recognition. He imagines auto companies dropping models of their cars into the metaverse to let people test-drive them. With varying levels of skepticism, media coverage refers to the metaverse as “an expansive, digitized communal space where users can mingle freely with brands” or “a realm of culture and digital identity for brands to further discover their fullest potential.”
So to sum it up. What can we expect to happen with what used to be the Facebook company? It broadens its reach beyond social media into areas like virtual reality (VR). This change does not apply to its individual platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp, only the parent company that owns them. The move follows a series of negative stories about Facebook, based on documents leaked by an ex-employee. We are yet to see what exactly this rebrand will bring us, but we can be certain that it will bring something exciting.
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