The Metaverse can be considered a pivotal step into the new era of technology and virtual reality. The Metaverse represents an online realm that brings everything related to the physical world into a virtual yet super-realistic setting. Though currently implemented in the gaming world only, many companies have taken it upon themselves to begin integrating the Metaverse into their line of business.
Beyond costly and advanced, only a selected few can financially delve into the essence of the Metaverse, one of which is Facebook.
With Mark Zuckerberg as its CEO, Facebook has recently introduced the idea of making the Metaverse an integral part of the social media platform. What’s more, the company announced that the project will be supervised by Andrew Bosworth, the head of Facebook’s Reality Lab.
In the coming years, I expect people will transition from seeing us primarily as a social media company to seeing us as a metaverse company … In many ways the metaverse is the ultimate expression of social technology.
Over the span of the next couple of years, Facebook will have its hands elbow-deep into implementing this multi-billion project, with Zuckerberg considering the Metaverse the future of the internet as well as human interaction.
Metaverse on the Horizon
Facebook’s Metaverse project is no news. In fact, the company made its first moves towards the concept back in 2014, when it acquired Oculus VR, a product mainly aimed at gamers. Back then, Oculus was a kick-starter product that contained a virtual reality head-mounted display, which gave gamers a sneak peek into a whole new gaming environment. Along with its acquisition, Facebook also announced that those who wanted to use Oculus can only do so through the designated platform.
With this move, Facebook opened the doors to introducing the Metaverse as a viable concept, even if only in parts. Interestingly, no other platform has ventured into the Metaverse as well or as persistently as Facebook did. For instance, Google attempted a similar move by launching their Google Glass project in 2013, which was unfortunately deemed unripe and was, therefore, pulled off the shelves soon into its launch.
Why Create a Metaverse?
For many technology enthusiasts, the Metaverse is more of a necessity than a fun concept to play around with. As we currently only experience a portion of what the internet can do, the release of the first Metaverse technology will create an unimaginable boom in the VR and AR market. Aware of its capabilities and powers of rounding communities worldwide under one realm, Facebook was the first to give the Metaverse a platform to thrive.
Armed with just enough finances, technological expertise as well as manpower, Zuckerberg intends to integrate the Metaverse as an undisputed part of Facebook, instead of adapting his platform to the virtual realm. Certain that the concept will mark a new age of technology, Zukerberg naturally wants to be the first to develop a fully-working Metaverse, which would then make Facebook a multiverse mogul.
As per the company’s calculations, in order to create a functional Metaverse, they will need to hire around 700 designated professionals to take on key roles in the fields of VR and AR. Once done, Zuckerberg expects the Facebook Metaverse to facilitate overall physical living and give the world the chance to do just about anything – attend events, meet friends, work and play, etc – in a virtual setting that feels as close to the real world as possible.
A Billion Dollar Baby
Facebook counts among the top five most profitable companies today, which makes it financially empowered to take on the Metaverse by a storm. Some assessments suggest that Zuckerberg plans on spending around $3 billion to complete the project, with some even speculating the cost might escalate as high as $6 billion.
Despite his personal efforts, Zuckerberg stated that Facebook is not the only tech giant trying to get its hands on the Metaverse, though he explicitly stated he wished to be the first to do it.
Facebook, a Metaverse of Its Own
When the Metaverse concept first broke the tech scene, Zuckerberg began contemplating his options. He initially told his employees that Facebook’s future will expand beyond social media. In a recent presentation, Zuckerberg announced his plans to create a maximalist version of Facebook, so users can make the most of it, professionally, socially, financially, and otherwise.
As he put it in June 2021, the Metaverse, once created, will merge the physical and virtual world.Of course it will take a lot of virtual programming effort. It will also work based on an entirely fledged economy, and allow users to create their own avatars and roam the metaverse from one point to the next without a hassle. Moreover, while Zuckerberg will integrate the Metaverse, he won’t run it – or rather, no one will. The Metaverse will represent an embodied internet that will be operated by various parties, all carried out in a decentralized manner.
To many, Zuckerberg’s ambitions revolving around the Metaverse are nothing short of audacious. However, what he and, ultimately, Facebook, will create is a home away from home for the world, where artists can be seen and heard, where individuals can work from home, and where communities stripped of education opportunities will have the chance to learn much like the rest of the world.
As Zuckerberg himself puts it – in time, the Metaverse will become the closest thing we’ve experienced to teleportation – and that’s something to look forward to.