Tech companies are racing to build what many say could be the new and improved internet – the metaverse.
Visionary films like Inception, TRON: Legacy, and Spielberg’s Ready Player One offered glimpses into imaginary virtual realities beyond our wildest imaginations. But, the advent and development of new technologies has raised the hopes of tech developers that these worlds no longer have to remain the figments of film directors’ imaginations.
Facebook, as one of the world’s top social media and tech corporations, is stepping in as one of the lead contenders to finally put this long-standing idea into practice.
Zuckerberg’s appetite for technological supremacy is insatiable. A controversial figure, no doubt; but you cannot rise to such a level of dominance without ruffling up some feathers, or possessing a sense for evolution – and revolution. There’s hardly an idea at the moment more revolutionary than the metaverse, and Zuckerberg is quickly seizing on the concept, integrating it as an essential piece of the puzzle that is Facebook.
It’s the Next Big Thing, and It’s Closer than You Think
Defining what a metaverse is can be tricky considering that, so far, we only have rough sketches of such concepts. Simply put, a metaverse is a shared, cloud-based digital landscape that can take on many different shapes and forms.
Preliminary virtual reality worlds with elements and features of a metaverse already exist. Take, for instance, Sensorium Galaxy, one of the closest realizations of a metaverse you can find today. It features multiple virtual reality worlds where particular types of activities (like electronic music concerts) take place. Then, there’s Facebook Horizon – a VR-based online game with game creation tools for independent developers.
But Facebook Horizon is still in its beta version and it’s not exactly a full-fledged realization of Zuckerberg’s plans for a metaverse.
A Facebook Metaverse – What Are Zuckerberg’s Plans?
Zuckerberg, like any tech mastermind, is a downright visionary. The young CEO has recently made clear that creating a Facebook metaverse is his latest vision for the company. Zuckerberg is looking to capitalize on the widespread interest that the inevitable emergence of a metaverse generates, with plans to transform his platform into a metaverse of its own.
Zuckerberg recently shared his plans about blending Facebook’s content-creation, gaming, virtual reality, and communication departments into one all-encompassing metaverse. A virtual space that even has its own economy and inner laws, Zuckerberg imagines a metaverse as a ‘virtual environment where you can be present with people in digital spaces.’ As per the CEO, it is an embodiment of the internet where instead of ‘just looking at’ it, ‘you’re inside’ it.
Metaverse: The Future of Big Tech?
Though among the more ambitious, Facebook is far from being the only tech developer looking to design a metaverse.
There are many other video game and technology companies that want to have their fingers on the proverbial pie. Microsoft, Google, and Epic Games (developer of Fortnite and Rocket League), to name a few, have already taken steps to tap into the unexplored potential of the metaverse.
Some experts firmly believe that in a few years’ time, metaverse worlds will not be a commodity, but rather a necessity for companies across many industries, particularly social media and online gaming.
Earlier this summer, the head of DMarket – a group that facilitates development, purchasing, and selling of non-fungible digital currencies for individuals and companies alike –argued that the metaverse is building ‘a global economy on track to exceed the current one many times over,’ which, in turn, will force many brands to integrate metaverse concepts.
Why Zuckerberg Strives to Turn Facebook into a Metaverse?
Dominance. Survival. Expansion. These are some of the words that come to mind when trying to answer this question, which clearly does not have a straight answer, or a single one at that.
Staying Ahead of the Competition
Everyone wants a piece of the metaverse cake. Particularly if everyone is the helmer of one of the world’s foremost tech companies. Zuckerberg is fully aware of the breakneck speed at which some companies are developing these vast digital worlds. And for him and his company, staying one step ahead of the competition is certainly a strong motive to diversify into the newest metaverse craze.
It’s Not just about Gaming
Facebook has long been the digital town square where people gather to chat, watch films and videos, share stories, create content, and interact with one another.
Facebook alone has well over 2 billion users worldwide and Zuckerberg believes creating metaverse will bring people online closer. Additionally, Zuckerberg does not see the metaverse as solely a game- or entertainment-oriented platform. He believes the Facebook metaverse will create an alternate world that will accord equal opportunities for both education and entertainment for those with no access to such benefits.
Supply and Demand
A recent digital concert tour within the world of Epic Games’ Fortnite featuring Ariana Grande, rapper Travis Scott, and DJMarshmello, generated widespread global interest. The multifaceted event, which also included various immersive, vivid, and lifelike gaming experiences between player avatars, is a clear example of both the entertainment and commercial value of metaverses. The days-long virtual tour attracted tens of millions of people for the live music and gaming events, and Zuckerberg is sure to factor in these elements on his way to creating what he believes would be the ideal metaverse.