"To reflect who we are and what we hope to build, I am proud to announce that starting today, our company is now Meta. Our mission remains the same — it’s still about bringing people together. Our apps and our brands — they’re not changing either,” Zuckerberg said. “From now on, we’re going to be metaverse-first, not Facebook-first.”
The name of the Facebook social network will not be changed.
This was said by Facebook CEO and Founder Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday 28 October during a live broadcast from his Facebook page.
So what is this metaverse that Mark is trying to build?
Explaining the metaverse concept, Mr Zuckerberg has said: "It's a virtual environment. We can be present with people in digital spaces. And you can kind of think about this as an embodied internet that you're inside of rather than just looking at. And we believe that this is going to be the successor to the mobile internet."
He predicted that people would be able to access the metaverse "from all different devices and different levels of fidelity from apps on phones and PCs to immersive virtual and augmented reality devices.
The metaverse is coming. Cathy Hackl explains why we should care.
The chief metaverse officer says the metaverse is going to change how we work, shop, and socialize.
You may have heard of the metaverse — but let’s be honest: do you really know what that means? If you’re unsure, you’re not alone: The metaverse is hard to pinpoint. It doesn’t even have a definition in the Merriam-Webster dictionary, Cathy Hackl, tells Freethink. A “Chief Metaverse Officer,” Hackl is a professionally trained futurist and strategist, who has worked with Amazon Web Services (AWS), Magic Leap, and HTC VIVE, and helps brands understand how this new paradigm will affect their businesses.
If you think of Web 1.0 as the internet that connected us to information, and Web 2.0 as the social-media iteration, which connects people, Web 3.0 (which we’re now entering) is connecting people, places, and things, says Hackl.
“In some ways, our digital lifestyles catching up to our physical lives. It’s about breaking free from two dimensions into a fully 3D environment.”
“Sometimes, these people, places, and things can be in a fully virtual or synthetic environment, or they could be in a physical world with some level of augmentation,” she said. “It’s in the nascent phase.” I spoke to Hackl about the role of gaming in the metaverse, how it can change our sense of identity, and other subjects.
Here is our conversation, edited and condensed for clarity.
So what, exactly, is the metaverse?
The metaverse is a further convergence of our physical and digital lives. It’s about shared virtual experiences.
It is in some ways, our digital lifestyles catching up to our physical lives. It’s about breaking free from two dimensions into a fully 3D environment. So it can be a fully virtual environment, whether it’s in VR or it could be a level of augmentation in our real world, we’re actually seeing 3D assets in front of us. Potentially wearable, like glasses, or those sorts of things.
I have a very expansive view of the metaverse. Beyond Ready Player One and Oasis, which seem very dystopic. My view encompasses both fully virtual worlds and our real world with some level of augmentation.
Are we there yet?
Not yet. The metaverse is being slowly created, we’re all working on it. It’s being activated, it’s being enabled by different technologies. Some of those technologies are AR and VR, AI, 5G, blockchain, incredibly important, edge computing, all these different things. AR and VR to me are an entry point [to the metaverse].
“If the internet and social media changed your business or changed the way you interact with people, then you should be paying attention to what 3.0 and the metaverse will do, because it will change those things as well.”
And then within that greater metaverse, you have metaworlds or small metaverses of sorts within that world.
If we’re not there, why is it critical to understand the metaverse now?
It’ll change the way we engage with information, the way we engage with the internet. It’ll be a critical part of our children’s and grandchildren’s lives, and for businesses, it’ll change the way consumers of the future engage with brands.
If the internet and social media changed your business or changed the way you interact with people, then you should be paying attention to what 3.0 and the metaverse will do, because it will change those things as well.