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Metaverse: Will It Be the New Face of Social Media?

Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook co-founder, and CEO uncover his plans in the online world to build a "metaverse" where people can game, work, and communicate in a virtual environment.

He said the existing brand could not "possibly represent everything that we're doing today, let alone in the future." The word "meta" comes from the Greek word meaning "beyond".

Its vision of the metaverse is to be a future interface to the internet. Although we will one day access all internet services through 3D virtual worlds and virtual reality headsets, it remains to be seen that it still appears to be a somewhat niche technology in spite of many large corporations’ attempts to bring them to market in the latter years.

Moreover, Facebook uncovers a new sign replacing its thumbs-up logo with a blue infinity shape at its headquarters in Menlo Park, California. The new name is said to reflect that over time, and the users will no longer use Facebook for the company's other services. It may look like a version of VR, but some people believe it could be the future of the internet.

Instead of being on a computer, people in a metaverse might use a headset to enter a virtual world connecting all sorts of digital environments. It is hoped the virtual world could be used for practically anything from work, play and concerts, to socializing with friends and family.

Naming a company is really hard. Zuckerberg says he's chosen Meta because it alludes to the "Metaverse", which is an online virtual oasis that he wants to build.

Facebook might have a problem with getting everyone to call them Meta. So what is really metaverse and to what extent should we believe that the vision being presented to us is really going to be predominant in our daily lives?

This idea is not new. Science fiction author, Neal Stephenson originates the term “metaverse” in his 1992 cyberpunk novel “Snow Crash” that presents a 3D virtual world in which people represent as avatars, and interact with each other and artificially intelligent agents. Many people have tried to stamp their own definitions on the metaverse. If the idea is new to you, it may help to understand some of the properties you can expect from a metaverse:

1. A virtual world: the most important characteristic of a metaverse. You could explore it using a computer, gaming console, mobile, wearable technology or other devices, experiencing 3D graphics and sound along the way. The idea is that this makes you feel more present in the metaverse, and presumably less present in the everyday world (where your body stubbornly remains).

2. Virtual reality. You need a virtual reality headset for this. The idea here is that you become immersed in the virtual world, so you feel even more present – at least until you bump into something that remains in the everyday world, like the coffee table.

3. Other people. The metaverse is social. There are lots of other people there, represented as avatars. Some of these avatars might be bots, virtual agents and manifestations of artificial intelligence. You can hang out with other people or even do things together. The social aspect is likely to be central in Facebook’s metaverse given its history as a social network.

Metaverse fans and some researchers believe communication may be more natural than with video conferencing because, for example, you can use gaze to show who you are addressing (your avatar can turn its head to look at another person). Your avatar could also walk over and sit next to someone else’s avatar to start a conversation.

4. Persistence. This means the virtual world is available whenever you want to visit it. You can change it by adding new virtual buildings or other objects and importantly, the changes remain in place next time you visit. You might be able to take up residence and own a bit of it. The metaverse will rely on your user-generated content – your digital creations and personal stories – in the same way social media does today.

5. Connection to the real world. In some visions of the metaverse, the virtual stuff in the virtual world actually represents real stuff in the real world. For example, you might fly a virtual drone in the metaverse to steer an actual drone in the real world. People talk about the real and virtual as being “digital twins”. - IFLSCIENCE

It looks like Facebook is trying to divert attention away from the heap of negative stories hanging around the company. Other critics believe that Facebook has done this because the brand has become toxic. Another thing is, the "Metaverse" doesn't yet exist. Zuckerberg was clear in stressing out it was a long-term product. But what is clear is that running Instagram and Facebook is no longer Mark Zuckerberg's devotion. He is more focused on creating virtual worlds that he believes will modify human experience and its restructure may give him the ability to focus more on the segments of the company that excite him. We'll wait and see whether people will go along with it.


About the Writers:

Marie Rosales, a full-time Content Writer, and AVCreativity Studio's Virtual Assistant. She enjoys cooking and reading. She spends most of her spare time with her children.

Pamela Elizabeth, Editor-in-Chief at AVCreativity Studio. Earned a Bachelor’s Degree of Secondary Education Major in English. She loves going on little adventures alongside reading good books. She is enthusiastic about her work and ensures that her clients receive the finest service possible.

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