In the digital age, technology is constantly evolving and, at times, it can be difficult to keep up. Luckily for you, media update
’s Taylor Goodman is always here to keep you clued in on the latest and greatest.
With the hubbub surrounding the metaverse and the implications that it could have on the future of Internet development, it is crucial
to be clued into developments in this area. Without further ado, let’s get into the nitty gritty:
Understanding the metaverse
Do you ever find yourself getting pulled into the blackhole that is social media, then stepping out and thinking ‘Where did the last three hours go
?’ If so, you aren’t alone. Almost everyone
is on social media these days and the average user spends at least 145 minutes on social media every day
And this is where the metaverse comes in. Many
believe this to be the next big thing to happen in the online space, changing the way we interact with one another digitally — forever
The term ‘metaverse’ was coined by a sci-fi novelist named Neal Stephenson, who describes it as a virtual world that people can escape to
. However, the term has taken many forms since, making the metaverse an umbrella term for a variety of digital landscapes.
This term could be used to describe gaming societies, wherein different players can walk around and engage with one another. Alternatively, a metaverse can tie into blockchain technology
, where users can buy virtual land and assets.
Want to know more about the world of digital assets? Then you should check out our previous article, Spilling the NFT: Why marketers should care
If you’re wondering where you can get a key to unlock the door to this virtual environment, the answer is simple — with VR headsets, AR glasses and their corresponding apps or devices
What does the metaverse mean for you?
In post-Covid society, people are looking for new ways to interact — as well as make digital interactions more realistic. And the metaverse environment enables its users to do just
that and engage in a whole new way
For example, consider how the Oculus
Rift has given industries a more physical space to explore. This virtual development is still very much in its infancy stage, but for those who can afford to participate (the Oculus
Rift retails for $599
), the metaverse here seen could be game-changing — literally
Whether it's working, gaming, attending a virtual concert, or even shopping, the metaverse breathes life into a completely enveloping experience. With this, it is possible that days spent staring at a screen are behind us; now, users can fully immerse themselves within those digital ecosystems. Exciting, right
Facebook and the metaverse
Social media giant Facebook has plunged headfirst into the metaverse, officially rebranding under the name ‘Meta’
Before you get ahead of yourself, no
, this doesn’t mean that Facebook as you know it will cease to exist. Rather, Meta will act as a parent company that oversees its many other products — like Oculus or brands like Facebook, Instagram or Whatsapp.
Facebook explains that Meta “brings together our apps and technologies under one new company brand
In Meta’s founder’s letter, Mark Zuckerberg elaborates on what he hopes to achieve, explaining that
“the defining quality of the metaverse will be a feeling of presence — like you are right there with another person or in another place. Feeling truly present with another person is the ultimate dream of social technology. That is why we are focused on building this.”
Zuckerberg goes on to discuss how the brand plans to make this vision a reality, explaining that their aim is to get users to utilise VR and AR technologies to move or ‘teleport’ into virtual zones.
This will enable users to “get together with friends and family, work, learn, play, shop, create — as well as completely new experiences that don’t really fit how we think about computers or phones today,” continues Zuckerberg.
Struggling to wrap your head around this? You’re not alone. Critics wonder if this rebrand is an attempt to pull the wool over consumers’ eyes and deflect from Facebook’s recent PR mishaps
. Others further question whether this development comes before its time.
All in all, Facebook’s vision of the metaverse teeters on the line of staying on the cutting edge and ambitious vision that could be too futuristic for right now. Only time will tell. What are your thoughts on Meta and the concept of the metaverse? Let us know in the comments below.
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Want to stay clued in on the latest and greatest developments on the digital scene? Then be sure to check out AI: Influencing virtually anything.
*Image courtesy of Unsplash