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WHAT IS THE FACEBOOK METAVERSE?


The term "metaverse" is the newest buzzword to catch the attention of the IT sector, to the point where one of the most well-known internet platforms is rebranding to reflect its adoption of the future concept. Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, just announced that his firm will be renamed Meta Platforms Inc., or Meta for short.

Facebook's 37-year-old founder has previously stated that the firm would "successfully move from people seeing us as largely a social media company to being a metaverse company." So, what is this new world for which Facebook is preparing? Here's everything you need to know about it.

With the announcement of Meta, Facebook made big news. Meta is a rebranding of Facebook with the goal of continuing to bring people together and connect them. Focusing on the AR/VR environment is an important element of this.

It was also unveiled at the Facebook Connect virtual reality conference, which seemed fitting.

But don't believe Instagram, Whatsapp, or Messenger are going away. As a result of the revelation, there will be a greater focus on establishing the Metaverse, as Zuckerberg appears to believe that this is the next step for the future.

WHAT EXACTLY IS FACEBOOK METAVERSE?

The Facebook Metaverse looks like something out of a science fiction film. As in the film Ready, Player One, you see someone putting on a headset, sitting back in their chair, and entering another reality.

Imagine yourself going about as an avatar, doing things like shopping, talking and hanging out with your friends, and engaging in recreational activities.

In a video presentation, Zuckerberg also discussed how immersive learning will become, allowing anyone to travel anywhere and at any time simply by donning a virtual reality headset.

WHY SHOULD YOU BE CONCERNED?

From the first imaginings of the Metaverse in science fiction books to witnessing comparable things on the big screen, we've been waiting for it for decades. We've already entered the digital era.

According to a research, there will be 3.24 billion video gamers in the world in 2021. When you consider that the average person spends up to 6.4 hours per day on a device linked to the Internet, it's clear that there's a market for a more immersive environment than our gaming consoles, computers, and mobile phones.

Imagine going into the Metaverse and witnessing your favourite artist perform live, and being able to stroll around them at arms' length while they perform your favourite songs.

Imagine being able to try on a variety of outfits in the blink of an eye and selecting the right appearance.

Imagine meeting up with long-distance relatives in the Metaverse and going sledding in a remote region of the Metaverse or riding in a gondola in Venice.

When technology catches up with imagination, it may take years or decades for the Facebook Metaverse to take over.

WHAT DOES THE METAVERSE OF FACEBOOK MEAN FOR SMALL BUSINESSES?

If you haven't already guessed, the Metaverse has the potential to be the next big thing, and with Meta investing millions in tools to build the Metaverse, it's clear that this isn't going to be a passing trend.

So, how do you think this will affect your small business? Let's take a look at some of the Metaverse's advantages and disadvantages.

THE FACEBOOKS METAVERSE'S BENEFITS

Let's start with the benefits:

It'll make it easier for you to connect with your customers.

By removing the geographical barrier, you will be able to communicate with your customers more closely. If you run a small community-driven business, the Metaverse will allow you to connect with your clients no matter where they are in the world.

Rather than simply being the community's owner, it transforms your relationship into one of friendship, fostering greater trust.

You'll get access to a larger customer base as a result.

Anyone can visit your business now that physical limitations are no longer an issue. You could put your store on the Metaverse, allowing people to look at what you have for sale whenever they choose and from anywhere in the world.

You'll be able to sell digital products.

Individuals will want to stand out, be themselves, and show off their personality as more people join the Metaverse. Items for their avatars, like as clothing or accessories, are one method they could do this.

In 2019, microtransactions from costume sales brought in $1.8 billion for Fortnite, a popular free-to-play third-person shooter.

Cosmetic digital things are already in high demand, so what better way to boost revenue than with company-branded digital stuff that your followers may wear?

FACEBOOK'S METAVERSE'S DRAWBACKS

Let's have a look at the drawbacks:

Consumers' Purchase Price

A virtual reality headset is required to enter the Facebook Metaverse. For most individuals, a VR headset isn't something they have lying around the house. You probably don't have one in your house unless you're an early adopter.

It's unlikely that someone will pay upwards of $200 on one unless they have a strong desire to get one. So it could be years before millions of people are all on the Metaverse, unless demand is high or the cost is low enough for anyone to buy a VR headset.

For Businesses, the Cost of Entry

You may need to invest depending on what you want to get out of the Facebook Metaverse. As previously said, if you're making digital products, you'll need someone to create it. You'll have to outsource this if you don't have someone on your team who can do it.

And if the Facebook Metaverse takes off, the strong demand for virtual item development is sure to increase.

IN THE METAVERSE, WHAT WILL I BE ABLE TO DO?

It's a notion that encompasses an online environment where people may connect, collaborate, and communicate without having to be physically there. You could, for example, be in New Delhi and your family could be in Kolkata, but you could still have supper together at the same table. It's like Zoom or Google Meet, but more powerful. Instead of staring at a device, you'd be looking across the table at your family.

Virtual reality has enormous promise, particularly in the corporate world. Consider being able to try on the dress you've chosen online before making a purchase.Or, better still, getting inside the car you wish to test drive while sitting in your living room?

In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, the metaverse could be a game-changer for the work-from-home shift. Employees could join their coworkers in a virtual office instead of seeing them on a video call grid.

The VR, or virtual reality, headset looks to be the gadget of choice for the metaverse in the outset, at least according to Facebook. And, following its acquisition of Oculus VR for USD 2 billion in 2014, Facebook already has its own in-house product – the Oculus VR headset.

Horizon Workrooms, a meeting software for businesses that works with Facebook's Oculus VR headsets, has received mixed reviews thus far. The headsets are priced at around $300, placing many of the metaverse's most cutting-edge experiences out of reach. Users who can afford it would be able to flit between virtual worlds established by different corporations using their avatars.

HOW IS IT GOING TO WORK?

With the debut of Facebook Horizon in 2019, Facebook launched its first excursions towards constructing a virtual reality world. Facebook Horizon is an invitation-only immersive environment that users can visit by donning an Oculus headset. Horizon Workrooms, a tool that allows coworkers using VR headsets to attend meetings in a virtual space where they all appear as cartoonish 3D versions of themselves, was released in August.

However, the metaverse is expected to become a far more evolved space in the future. The metaverse will be "a fully functional economy... where individuals and businesses will be able to develop, own, invest, and sell" things, according to venture capitalist Matthew Ball in a blog post. There are already monetisable gaming tokens, as well as a new class of assets known as NFTs (non-fungible tokens) that only exist digitally.

Ball also believes that the metaverse will provide "unprecedented interoperability of data, digital items/assets, and content" and will "cross both the digital and physical worlds."

"The metaverse isn't simply virtual reality," Zuckerberg said in an interview with The Verge "It would be available on a variety of computing platforms, including virtual and augmented reality, as well as personal computers, mobile devices, and gaming consoles.

According to Zuckerberg, the metaverse will be "a persistent, synchronous environment where we can be together, which I believe will resemble some kind of hybrid between the social networks that we see now, but an environment where you're embodied in it." "..

HOW IS IT BEING CONSTRUCTED?

Andrew Bosworth, VP of Facebook Reality Labs, and Nick Clegg, VP of Global Affairs, said on their blog in September that "the metaverse isn't a single product one firm can produce alone," and that it will exist "whether Facebook is there or not." According to the essay, such a metaverse won't be "constructed overnight" and will most likely take another 10-15 years to materialise.

The company also stated in a blog post announcing the proposed hire in Europe to drive its metaverse plans that "no single company will own and operate the metaverse." ""Its key feature will be its openness and interoperability," according to the report, which means "collaboration and cooperation among companies, developers, creators, and policymakers."

Virtual immersive worlds have been experimented with in online games like Fortnite and gaming platforms like Roblox, with Fortnite hosting a virtual reality concert with popstar Ariana Grande. Nvidia, a graphics company, is rumoured to be working on a "Omniverse" project ", which is described as a platform for connecting virtual worlds in three dimensions.

The Facebook metaverse, however, will "demand continuing investment in product and tech skills, as well as expansion throughout the business," according to the firm ".. It has already committed USD 50 million to work with industrial partners, human rights organisations, governments, nonprofits, and academic institutions to "identify how to properly construct these technologies." ".. It has recently announced plans to hire 10,000 high-skilled professionals in Europe in order to accelerate the building of the metaverse.

WHAT ABOUT PRIVACY OF DATA?

The timing of Facebook's European employment announcement couldn't have been better, coming on the heels of disruptions and whistleblower revelations that have sparked unfavourable press for the social media behemoth.

Following the release of internal documents by former Facebook employee Frances Haugens, which suggest the company knew its products could harm children and may have backed off on its hate speech crackdown, The Washington Post, which is owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, said last month that Facebook's metaverse push is "part of a broader push to rehabilitate the company's reputation with policymakers and reposition Facebook to shape the regulation,"

While the firm hasn't revealed much regarding data privacy and use in the metaverse, previous disputes over Facebook's treatment of user data have raised questions about how it would handle the qualitatively different, and likely more intimate, data that users will generate in the metaverse.

"You'll be able to socialise with your pals, work, play, learn, shop, and create." "It's not about spending more time online — it's about making the time you do spend online more meaningful," the business stated in a September blog post, referring to time spent on its platforms.

Focusing its metaverse development on Europe, where the European Union has enacted some of the world's tightest data privacy and processing rules as part of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), could be part of a strategy to stay ahead of authorities while developing new technology.

"The EU also has a significant role to play in creating the new internet rules." "In the context of its ambitions to expand its metaverse push in Europe, European politicians are leading the way in helping to cement European principles like free expression, privacy, transparency, and individual rights into the day-to-day workings of the internet," the business stated.


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