Facebook is no longer Facebook. Now it’s called Meta. This was announced by Mark Zuckerberg, its executive director, during the Facebook Connect ‘keynote’, an event in which the company is showing its latest advances in Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality. According to the executive, the change is due to the company’s interest in the construction of the metaverse: that kind of virtual world in which users can socialize, buy or work through the use of technology. You no longer want to be seen exclusively as a social media tech. Or, at least, not just like that.
The change of name of the company, which also controls platforms such as WhatsApp, Instagram or Messenger, was expected since last week, when the American media ‘The Verge’ advanced the news exclusively. In principle, the movement will not affect the social network Facebook, which will continue to be called the same. The only thing that changes is the name of the matrix that encompasses all the tools in Zuckerberg’s possession. For the user, in principle, it implies absolutely nothing.
The future of Facebook goes through the metaverse. And also the internet. Everyone’s. This is what Zuckerberg has made clear. The ‘keynote’ beyond the name change, which has not been announced until the end, has been intended to show the vision that the executive has of how that kind of virtual world will work in which the user can socialize, play to video games, buy or work thanks to the use of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality devices. Something that will take “five to ten years” to become an absolute reality. However, the company is committed to gradually laying the foundations for what is to come.
‘People will create all kinds of spaces. Even worlds. The teleportation will be like clicking on a link on the internet ”, said Zuckerberg during the ‘keynote’. The executive, indeed, has dedicated a good part of the event to show his vision of the metaverse; very similar in all respects to what could be seen in the dystopian and futuristic film ‘Ready Player One. Something that over time will be seen if it is fulfilled. During the presentation he has shown images of people staying to play a basketball game, play chess or, directly, work through the use of holograms and avatars. It has also stated that the user will have the ability to create their own homes or design their own workspaces.
“I am very optimistic about what we are trying to create,” he said. At the same time, it has highlighted the possibilities it has at an economic level and when it comes to improving the state of the environment. Even for study; among other things of History or Medicine. In this way, images of students discovering Ancient Rome ‘in situ’ and of operations carried out through that virtual world have been shown.
Although there are still years for what, for now, is still a vision, the executive has announced new experiences related to the metaverse that will be available to users of Oculus, his firm of Virtual Reality headsets. Among them is Horizon Home, a tool that will allow the creation of “virtual homes” in which, in addition, it will be possible to invite other people who have a device of this type to watch movies or play video games. This platform joins the Horizon Worlds online video game and the Horizon Workrooms virtual reality workspace as part of that primal metaverse in which the company works.
To advance the development of that new virtual world, Oculus will also receive Presence Platform, a new tool for developers to create mixed reality experiences for Oculus Quest virtual reality headsets. The viewer, in addition, will soon receive a new version of the popular video game ‘GTA: San Andreas’ that will be exclusive to the Facebook viewer.
The strategy behind
Meta arrives at one of the most delicate moments in the history of the company. The leak to the media of thousands of internal documents by former employee Frances Haugen has called into question the company’s work to keep its networks free of harmful content. Haugen has even repeatedly asserted that Facebook puts financial gain before the health of its community.
Despite the fact that the name change, on paper, seeks to enhance Facebook’s metaverse company image, analysts and the media have long wondered if, deep down, the initiative seeks to cover the latest scandals of the company behind a thick veil. Experts understand the move, but they are not clear that Zuckerberg will make it.
I see the strategy behind it. They are trying to become more than just a great social media company. The problem is that the firm has a worrying reputational problem and very negative brand perceptions ”, Lorena Blasco, an expert in social networks and professor of digital marketing at ESPC Business School, explains in conversation with ABC. “I have doubts whether, in the short term, it will help the company’s perceptions improve or if it will cost more effort,” he continues. Recent scandals have also cost Facebook money. In the last five days, its shares have accumulated a 5% drop.
The leaks have also led to the initiation of new government investigations, as the company has recognized in its quarterly earnings presentation. As pointed out by ‘The Wall Street Journal’ on Wednesday, the Federal Trade Commission of the United States (FTC, for its acronym in English), the same that fined Facebook with 5,000 million dollars last 2019 for the failures of the company to When it comes to protecting user privacy, I’d be investigating the new leaked documents.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism