Is the next phase of the internet dawning? Mark Zuckerberg thinks so. And according to the Facebook founder, there are “hundreds of billions of dollars” to be had.
After seventeen years of living as Facebook Inc., the parent company of Facebook, Whatsapp and Instagram changes its name to Meta. The well-known apps will keep their name, but CEO Mark Zuckerberg says he wants to be fully committed to what he sees as the next phase of the internet: the metaverse.
After seventeen years of living as Facebook Inc., the parent company of Facebook, Whatsapp and Instagram changes its name to Meta. The well-known apps will keep their name, but CEO Mark Zuckerberg says he wants to fully focus on what he sees as the next phase of the internet: the metaverse. In the metaverse, social interaction takes place in a three-dimensional virtual world, which users prefer. experience through virtual reality glasses. In that new internet, Zuckerberg writes in an open letter, we will put on a hologram and teleport to the office without having to commute, attend a concert with friends, or curl up on our parents’ sofas to catch up. In short: soon we will live in the internet, and not just look at it. Working, studying, going out, shopping: Mark Zuckerberg wants his company to capitalize on a much wider range of human activities. Zuckerberg says he wants to “go beyond what is already possible today, beyond the limitations of screens, beyond the boundaries of distance and physics, and towards a future where everyone can be together, create new opportunities and experience new things.” . It’s a future that goes beyond one company and will be created by all of us.” Facebook – or rather: Meta – made an extensive video explaining the metaverse. Below is an excerpt from it: The metaverse, conceived by science fiction writer Neal Stephenson in 1992, has been speculated for decades. Zuckerberg has said for some time now that he expects that in the coming years “people will no longer see us as primarily a social media company, but as a metaverse company.” The metaverse is now priority number one. Of course, Zuckerberg wouldn’t go down this road if he didn’t see an opportunity to make his business even more profitable. For example, Meta is going to put on the market refined VR glasses to experience the metaverse that would cost considerably more than the 299 dollars of an earlier version. Zuckerberg says he hopes that one billion people will get started with it. Meta is also working on fitness accessories for metaverse workouts. In the metaverse, users will be able to purchase outfits for their avatar, or hologram, and digital artwork to hang on the wall in their virtual home – and much more. According to 37-year-old Zuckerberg, the new internet would convert ‘hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of e-commerce. The change of course comes at a controversial time for the company. As apparent from Monday’s $9.2 billion quarterly profit, Facebook is still a cash machine, but at the same time it suffers from an existential problem: teenagers are turning their backs on the platform en masse. Teens and young adults find the platform outdated and dated, according to leaked internal memos, and they prefer the video app TikTok. Zuckerberg wants to make young people his main target again, he says. If the elderly fall by the wayside as a result, so be it, it sounds. In the coming years, the company will spend tens of billions to get the metaverse off the ground. Within five to ten years, the concept would become mainstream. “We believe the metaverse will become the successor to the mobile internet,” said Zuckerberg. Facebook is also in the midst of a PR crisis, another one. Since the Cambridge Analytica scandal in 2018, the company’s image has been seriously damaged. Recently, former product manager Frances Haugen also leaked thousands of internal documents showing Facebook’s lax use of hate speech on its platforms. Particularly in non-English speaking regions, there is a glaring lack of moderators to tackle hate speech and polarization, Knack reported, among others. ‘Facebook shows time and again that profit takes precedence over safety. Angry, hateful, polarizing content erodes our trust in fellow citizens and tears our society apart,” Haugen said in the interview program 60 Minutes. According to a leaked internal report, Instagram knows that the app can harm the self-esteem of young people, especially teenage girls. People’s representatives increasingly say that Facebook has become too big and that it must be split into several companies before it grows into a real monopoly. It remains to be seen whether the name change will change public opinion. Harsh criticism is heard from some quarters. For example, the progressive MP Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez responded via Twitter that ‘Meta’ stands for a ‘cancer that metastasizes into a worldwide propaganda machine that serves authoritarian regimes for profit.’
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Mark Zuckerberg wants us to live in the internet, not just look at it