Facebook is vying for a distracting $ 10 million prize for Metaverse

In a bad week, Facebook would love to change the subject.

To do this, he reaches for all the loud safe words he can get his hands on: the company announced on Thursday a new $ 10 million fund for creators (one of those safe words) who will create games in its new metacosm (this is the second ) project.

Facebook debuted on its virtual reality platform Horizon in 2020, and in line with CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s desire to focus on VR, it is opening access to it by inviting game developers to apply for funding.

Returning to the real world, Facebook was recently burdened by a flourishing scandal caused by informant Francis Haugen. She testified before Congress on Tuesday and detailed a number of possible problems at the company, including her reluctance to change her algorithm to slow down misinformation and limit Instagram’s negative impact on adolescents’ mental health. She also provided internal documents, which she said confirmed her claims.

Facebook actively fought Haugen, declaring its own internal investigation invalid and attacking its trust. This was the work of the company’s PR department and several elected executives. (At a previous congressional hearing, he sent Antigone Davis, head of the security service, to oppose lawmakers.)

Zuckerberg made every effort to refrain from fighting. (Not always successful – the lengthy post he posted on his Facebook page was largely deaf.) And this year he tried to focus the company on two main efforts: keeping influential people on Facebook and Instagram, introducing new features to help them . earn money. (All social networks are taking similar measures: YouTube, TikTok and Snap have announced financial programs that are also aimed at attracting creators.)

Another attempt: to create your own virtual reality initiative. This includes the idea of ​​a metaverse – an expansive, exciting digital world created by virtual reality – and Zuckerberg has made clear his determination to accelerate Facebook’s VR projects. For example, a month ago, Facebook announced that its longtime technology director Mike Schropfer would step down next year and replace him with Zuckerberg’s longtime compatriot Andrew Bosworth, a guy who had previously been tasked with making the metacosm a reality for Facebook.

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