Facebook’s metaverse, like the vision of working in 3D virtual spaces, is Mark Zuckerberg’s new dream and could spell profound business change at the company, including a renaming of the global social media giant.
That Facebook needs a radical change is something that few doubt and the most critical (including a good part of the world regulators) are betting on a “Chopping” of the giant that subtracts the immense power that it now holds and limit practices (abusive and non-transparent) in the treatment of users’ personal data, in the operation of its algorithm or in the prioritization of benefits over everything else, including the fight against hate speech and misinformation , reasons it is losing users by the millions and executives touring courthouses and the US Congress.
Zuckerberg has another idea, as we read in The Verge and plan create an array with another name and include Facebook as one more of the companies that would form the conglomerate along with others such as Instagram, WhatsApp or Oculus. The general idea is that the new company will cease to be known only as the great global social network and incidentally, for all the evils that afflict it. The business initiative would not be much different from the reorganization of Google in its day with the creation of Alphabet or Snapchat with Snap Inc.
The metaverse of Facebook
The novelty here is that the change of Facebook’s name would not be intended for the self-regulation that Facebook has been required to do, but rather to the construction of the metaverse, a multiple universe that Zuckerberg believes will become the next great technology for virtual user interaction. «The metaverse will be a big part of the next chapter in the evolution of the Internet after the mobile Internet.“He said in an interview this summer.
Although the concept is not new, moving this metaverse to a real large platform is still in its infancy. It is supposed to allow users to put devices on their heads (VR headsets or AR glasses) and come together to create, shop, learn, play, work or simply hang out with colleagues in a virtual world, emulating the interactions of the real life.
Facebook has been working on it for a long time and recently announced the hiring of 10,000 employees in the European Union alone to help build this virtual reality platform. The foundations for a greater focus on this next generation of technology have already been laid and the company has a team fully dedicated to the metaverse. Recently, the head of AR and VR at Facebook, Andrew Bosworth, was promoted to CTO.
As for the new name of the supposedly parent company of Facebook, they say that it is a closely guarded secret even among its top executives. A possible name could have something to do with Horizon, the name of the still-unreleased virtual reality version of Facebook-meets-Roblox that the company has been developing for the past few years. That app’s name was recently changed to Horizon Worlds shortly after Facebook demoed a version for workplace collaboration called Horizon Workrooms.
We will see how all this comes to fruition, although neither a change in technological approach nor in name will stop criticism about the functioning of the social network and practices that by action or omission have not respected the right to privacy. Imagine if the abusive and non-transparent operation culminated in the Cambridge Analytica scandal added images and sounds of your home and your children once you are immersed in the metaverse of Facebook …
On the other hand, the concentration of massive services that are at the hands of Facebook is alarming and it is not solved by including them all under a different name matrix if your WhatsApp data continues to reach Facebook, even if you do not have an account open on the social network .