Is the meta universe of Facebook more than just Pipedream?

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Last week, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced to investors that he plans to move Facebook in a new direction in the future. The social network, he said, will be more than simple during the announcement of earnings for the first quarter of 2021; In the coming years, it will become a metaverse.

The concept of the metaverse is not so new. It has been around since at least 2014, but until recently it did not attract Big Tech’s attention, especially after Zuckerberg made his recent comments. So what was he talking about?

Landscape of the Metaverse

The metaverse he was referring to is a collective virtual shared space that includes the sum of all virtual worlds and the Internet. It may contain derivatives or copies of the real world, but it differs from augmented reality, according to the IEEE – in particular the IEEE Virtual World Standard Working Group – which describes itself as an association that promotes innovation and technological excellence for the benefit of humanity. It is the world’s largest technical professional society.

The word “metauniverse” consists of the prefix “goal” (meaning “outside”) and the base “poem” (the inverse of “universe”); this term is commonly used to describe the concept of the future iteration of the Internet, consisting of constant, shared three-dimensional virtual spaces connected into a perceived virtual universe. For all intentions and purposes, this is a logical extension of augmented and virtual reality. In general, it is a place where the Internet, new technologies and virtual worlds interact.

Like other technologies that have emerged over the past few years, this business was run by leading companies before major enterprise technology vendors were involved either through their own innovations or through acquisitions.

However, the mix already has a number of significant players, including Epic Games, Unity and Snap. However, during the last season of earnings calls, many people, except Zuckerberg, threw their hats in the ring. Although he explained that he sees the future as the next step for the mobile Internet and that users will be able to access it from different devices and different phones, Satya Nadella from Microsoft also made some important remarks. “As the digital and physical worlds converge, we are at the forefront of the new level of the infrastructure stack, the corporate meta-universe,” he said during a conversation about profits.

In May, CEO John Ricitiello outlined his company’s earnings report, Unity Software, outlining where he thought it was going. “There will be millions of endpoints in the metacosm, including shopping sites, games, social networks, messaging apps, 3D conferencing, as well as real-time 3D workstations and designs in the form of Unity display,” he said. . “We can make all of these websites work with millions of endpoints or destinations – it’s a meta-universe, and it’s going to expand significantly in the coming years.”

Meta universe from Facebook

Les Borsai is the core strategy of the Los Angeles-based Wave Financial Group venture fund, which invests heavily in digital and cutting-edge technology. He claims that Zuckerberg’s statement outlines a logical next step for Facebook.

When Zuckerberg announced that Facebook would be a meta-universe company, he spoke of his intention to build on top of Facebook’s existing technology infrastructure to create a system that would allow users to move between augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and conventional 2D devices. In the meta universe, users can communicate, build and interact with the world around them through their digital avatars.

He also notes that Facebook is not the only big technology company moving in this direction. As an example, he cited Google and Apple, which have also made large investments in creating VR / AR products. However, according to him, Facebook differs in that it already owns so many platforms (for example, WhatsApp, Instagram and Oculus, the developer of VR headsets), which gives the company the basis to become a pioneer in the metacospace. These platforms have given Facebook a large customer base and valuable data on people’s online behavior.

But this has not yet been done. “For Facebook to successfully become a meta-universe company, it must become a compelling innovator in every aspect of immersion technology,” he said. “This means that Facebook engineers must be able to create a digital game that can have billions of avatars. The game must be versatile enough to handle multiple Internet access points, virtual reality and AR.

Facebook has already made significant progress in this initiative. Reality Labs is a new division that aims to create a standard for the meta-universe of Facebook; Researchers from various games struggle with the concept of presence as it is to feel in space with others. Facebook is also developing AR glasses, more advanced VR headsets and even software that allows users to teleport to other digital spaces.

“Zuckerberg claims that Facebook will be able to successfully transform into a company from the metaverse in five years, and by 2030 AR glasses and virtual reality headsets will be ready for daily mass use,” Borsai added. “However, this is not an easy task. First, Facebook needs to be able to make its virtual reality technology compatible with metaverses created by other companies. Facebook also needs to make its infrastructure fully scalable so that the user experience doesn’t lag behind when more users join. ”

Problems of personalization

There are other obstacles, said Daniel Cooper, managing director of New York automation company Lolly.co. The realistic metacosm depends on the level of personalization that even Facebook has not yet reached, but they (and others) are approaching. “Think of how TikTok was able to achieve such a staggering level of success on social media only with its recommendation algorithms,” he said. “Now apply it not to funny dance videos, but to literally everything we feel in the world – that’s what the metaworld has to achieve to gain high popularity.”

Facebook, of course, wants its content algorithm to be the most powerful in the world. Thus, becoming a company in the metauniverse just makes sense. “Imagine the impact they would have on companies if they could provide us with coupons, advertising and real-time information, wherever we go, whatever we communicate with. Such large-scale attractiveness – and such data – is the holy grail for social networks. “

Privacy issue

There is another consideration that needs to be considered before businesses even consider it. This reasoning is confidential. Once Facebook creates a viable metacosm and connects billions of users, Facebook will have new ways to collect people’s data to maximize the company’s revenue, sums up Les Borsay of Wave Financial Group. Currently, the lion’s share of Facebook’s revenue comes from advertising on its 2D social networking platform. The company can create curatorial advertisements for users by studying their photos, publications, events, interests and other online activities.

In the metaverse, Facebook can make money by selling users virtual content and experience. Users will want to buy trendy clothes and accessories for their avatars, gain access to digital events or unlock new content in this new digital world.

“There is no doubt that Facebook will try to create artificial intelligence tools powerful enough to collect data from billions of avatars, and the question of when Facebook will violate the privacy of people in the metaworld is only a matter of time,” he said.

Facebook can dominate the Metaverse

And what will Facebook look like if and when it gets where it wants to go? If Zuckerberg realizes his ambitions earlier than any of his competitors, Facebook will have a monopoly on a new space of the metaverse, said Brad Tuesnard, founder and CEO of Canadian SpinupWP. Facebook has already been the subject of antitrust antitrust lawsuits, and U.S. lawmakers are working on rules to limit its scope.

“Facebook’s metaworld will attract new profitable sources of income, as users are given the opportunity to pay for clothes for the avatar or enter private virtual zones. Zuckerberg has already created the world’s dominant social networking platform. Now he intends to do the same with the metauniverse, “he said.

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