What is the Metaverse?

by TYLER MAHAFFEY

On October 28th, Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook was rebranding itself and changing its name to ‘Meta’ or ‘The Metaverse’. This move drew criticism from some and excitement from others. 

 On October 28th, Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, announced the launch of ‘Meta’ and the rebranding of Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook would change its name to ‘Meta’ and add new features to Facebook such as virtual reality. Meta has been described as the next step in the internet, it will take the internet from being on flat screens to being all around you. 

^ (Mark Zuckerberg announces the launch of ‘Meta’) ^

‘Meta’ is Facebook but in virtual reality (virtual settings) and/or augmented reality (real world settings). At first, ‘Meta’ will probably require a virtual or augmented reality headset but later may require a full body set for virtual or augmented reality. ‘Meta’ will allow people to experience concerts, play video games, go shopping, hang out with others and go to events in virtual reality.

Many people have theorised that Facebook is rebranding now to distract from recent leaked documents that exposed many of Facebook’s shady practices. These shady practices were exposed when a whistle-blower named Frances Haugen exposed several documents from Facebook. Some of these shady practices included lying to Congress, allowing misinformation to spread, choosing more views on posts over public safety and failing to police the spread of hate speech.

 Another theory as to why Facebook is rebranding now is because they want to attract younger users to Facebook. As Facebook has been aging, most of its users are older. Most younger users have abandoned Facebook for other apps like Snapchat and Tik Tok. By rebranding themselves and introducing virtual and augmented reality options, Facebook is hoping to attract younger users to its platform and to expand its demographic. 

 Facebook has also been theorised to be rebranding so they can escape the influence of large companies such as Apple and Google. Facebook is trying to encourage users to use Facebook owned platforms such as Oculus. Facebook fears that Apple and Google could take the Facebook app off of their app stores because of Facebook’s reputation for tracking its users’ activity and data. Facebook also wants to leave the influence of Apple and Google so they don’t have to pay them a 30% fee on all purchases. As Facebook introduces the ‘Metaverse’, they will also introduce options to buy virtual clothes and items such as tvs. Facebook does not want to have to give 30% of the profits they make from these sales to Apple or Google. 

 Facebook’s move to virtual reality and augmented reality probably won’t fix all of Facebook’s issues or controversies, it probably won’t fix any of them at all. Facebook probably could have avoided all these controversies if they had spent the last few years fixing up issues with their platform and working to fix their reputation.

Sources: 

https://about.facebook.com/meta/

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