Facebook already has changed the world once for better or worse and with Metaverse platform it wants to lay the foundations of a new internet-based on immersive places rather than pages on screens. This is far from a new idea, notably, Neal Stephenson first-coined the term ‘metaverse’ in his Snow Crash novel from 1992 and Spielberg’s Ready Player One film from 2017 had its “Oasis,” more focused-on gaming.
In recent decades, technology has given people the power to connect & express ourselves more naturally. When Zuckerberg started Facebook, we mostly typed-text on websites. When we got phones with cameras, internet became more visual & mobile. As connections got faster, video became a best way to share experiences. We have gone from desktop to web to mobile; from text to photos to video. But this is not the end of the line.
The next platform will be more immersive, an embodied internet where you are in the experience, not just looking at it. We call this metaverse and it will touch each & every product they build.
The defining quality of metaverse will be a feeling of presence, like you are right there with different person or in different place. Feeling truly present with different person is the biggest dream of social technology. That is why, they are focused on building this.
In metaverse, you’ll be able to do anything you can imagine, get together with friends & family, work, learn, play, shop, create and also completely new experiences that do not really fit how we think about computers or phones today. They made a film that explores how you might use the metaverse one day.
In this future, you’ll be able to teleport instantly as a hologram to be at the office without a commute, at a concert with friends or in your parents’ living room to catch-up. This will open-up more opportunity no matter where you live. You will be able to spend greater time on what matters to you, cut down time in traffic and minimize your carbon footprint.
Think on how many physical or tangible things you have today that could just be holograms in the future. Your TV, your perfect work set-up with multiple monitors, your board games and more, rather than physical things assembled in factories, they will be holograms designed by creators around the world.
You will move across these experiences on various devices, augmented reality glasses to stay present in the physical world, virtual reality to be fully-immersed and phones & computers to jump in from existing platforms. This is not about spending greater time on screens; it is about making the time we already spend better.
Role and Responsibility
The metaverse will not be created by just one company. It will be built by creators & developers making new experiences & digital items that are interoperable and unlock a hugely larger creative economy than the one constrained by today’s platforms & their policies.
Their role in this journey is to accelerate the development of fundamental technologies, social platforms & creative tools to bring the metaverse to life and to weave these technologies through our social media apps. They believe the metaverse can be able for better social experiences than anything that exists today and we’ll dedicate our energy to helping achieve its potential.
As Zuckerberg wrote in their original founder’s letter: “we don’t build services to make money; we make money to build better services.”
This approach has served them well. They’ve built their business to support very large & long-term investments to build better services and that is what they plan to do here.
The last 5 years have been humbling for Zuckerberg and his company in many ways. One of the main lessons Zuckerberg have learned is that building products people love is not enough.
Zuckerberg have gained greater appreciation that the internet’s story is not straight-forward. Each chapter brings new voices & new ideas, but also new challenges, risks & disruption of established interests. They will need to work together, from the beginning, to bring the best-possible version of this future to life.
Privacy & safety need to be built into metaverse from day one. So do open standards & interoperability. This will require not only novel technical work like supporting crypto & NFT projects in the community, but even new forms of governance. Most of all, they need to help build ecosystems so that greater people have a stake in the future and can benefit not only as consumers but as creators.
This period has been also humbling, because as big of a company as they are, they have also learned what it’s like to build on other platforms. Living under their rules has profoundly shaped Zuckerberg’s views on the tech industry. He has come to believe that the lack of choice for consumers and high fees for developers are stifling innovation and holding-back the internet economy.
They have tried to take another approach. They want their services to be accessible to as many people as possible, which means working to make them cost less, not more. Their mobile apps are free. Their ads model is designed to provide businesses the lowest prices. Their commerce tools are available at cost or with modest fees. As a result, billions of people love their services and hundreds of millions of businesses rely on their tools.
That’s the approach they want to bring to helping to build metaverse. They plan to sell their devices at cost or subsidized to make them available to greater people. They’ll continue supporting side-loading and streaming from PCs so people have choice, instead of forcing them to use the Quest Store to find apps or reach customers. And they will aim to offer developer & creator services with low fees in as many cases as possible so they can maximize the overall creative economy. They will need to make sure they do not lose too much money along the way though.
Their hope is that within the next decade, metaverse will reach a billion people, host hundreds of billions of dollars of digital commerce and support jobs for millions of creators & developers.
Who They Are?
As they embark on this next chapter, they have thought a lot about what this means for their company & their identity.
They are a company that focuses on connecting people. While most tech companies focus on how people interact with technology, they have always focused on building technology so people can interact with each other.
Today they are seen as a social media company. Facebook is one of the most-used technology products in the history of the world. It is an iconic social media brand.
Building social apps will always be important for them and there has a lot more to build. But increasingly, it is not all they do. In DNA, they build technology to bring people together. The metaverse is the next-frontier in connecting people, just like social networking was when they got started.
Right now, their brand is so tightly linked to one product that it cannot possibly represent everything there doing today, let alone in the future. Over time, he hope-they are seen as a metaverse company and he want to anchor their work and their identity on what they are building towards.
They just announced that they are making a fundamental change to their company. They are now looking at and reporting on their business as two different segments: one for family of apps and one for work on future platforms. Their work on the metaverse is not just one of these segments. The metaverse encompasses both the social experiences & future technology. As they broaden their vision, it’s time for them to adopt a new brand.
To reflect who they are and the future they hope to build, he’s proud to share that their company is now Meta.
Their mission remains the same, it is still about bringing people together. Their apps and their brands are not changing either. They’re still the company that designs technology around people.
But all of their products, including their apps, now share a new vision: to help bring the metaverse to life. And now they have a name that reflects the breadth of what they do.
From now on, they will be metaverse-first, not Facebook-first. That means that over time you would not need a Facebook account to use our other services. As their new brand starts showing-up in our products, he hopes people around the world come to know the Meta brand and the future we stand for.
He used to study Classics and the term “meta” comes from the Greek word meaning “beyond”. For him, it symbolizes that there is always more to build, and there is always a next chapter to the story. Theirs is a story that started in a dorm room and grew beyond anything they imagined; into a family of apps that people use to connect with one another, to find their voice and to start businesses, communities & movements that have changed the world.
He is proud of what they’ve built so far and he was excited about what comes next, as they move beyond what is possible today, beyond the constraints of screens, beyond the limits of distance & physics and towards a future where everyone can be present with each other, create new opportunities and experience new things. It is a future that is beyond any one company and that will be made-by all of them.
They have built things that have brought people together in new ways. They have learned from struggling with difficult social issues and living under closed platforms. Now it’s time to take everything they have learned and help build the next chapter.
He’s dedicating our energy to this, more than any other company in the world. If this is the future you want to see, he hopes you will join them. The future is going to be beyond anything we can imagine.