What Is Metaverse and What Do You Need To Know About It?
Metaverse is a speculative future iteration of the Internet made up of shared virtual reality, often as a form of social media. The metaverse in a broader sense may not only refer to virtual worlds operated by social media companies but the entire spectrum of augmented reality. The term arose in the 2010s, and has come to be criticised as a method of public relations building using a purely speculative yet still “over-hyped” concept based on existing technology. This has been utilised by companies such as Meta (formerly Facebook, Inc.) to reinvent themselves.
The application names of Facebook and all other social media apps such as Instagram, Whatsapp and Messenger will not be changed but as from December 1st, it’s stock will start trading under a new ticker symbol, MVRS(referring to Metaverse as from MVRS). The official corporate name will be Meta Platforms but this name changing decision has brought silver lining for a Canadian material science company, Meta Materials. Meta( formerly Facebook) has nothing to do with Meta Materials but just like what happened with Elon Musk’s tweets and Signal, the same happened with Meta Materials and Mark Zuckerberg. After his decision to change the company’s name to Meta, the shares of Meta Materials rose sharply around 25%. While the CEO of Meta Materials welcomed Facebook to Metaverse with his tweet.
History of Metaverse
The term was coined in Neal Stephenson’s 1992 science fiction novel Snow Crash, where humans, as avatars, interact with each other and software agents, in a three-dimensional virtual space that uses the metaphor of the real world. Stephenson used the term to describe a virtual reality-based successor to the Internet.
The series of the movie The Matrix showed that intelligent machines created a Metaverse called the Matrix and used it to distract humans while using them as an energy source. Many entrepreneurs including CEO of Twitter, Jack Dorsey mocked this very idea of Mark and called it dystopian. He even retweeted famous fast-food restaurant chain Wendy’s tweet which was “Changing name to Meat”. He took a jibe against Facebook for the idea of Metaverse and calling it dystopian because of privacy concerns mainly and what Mark thinks is inspired from a novel.
If we understand Metaverse in simpler terms in accordance with Meta, it means stepping up from socializing online through laptops and mobile phones and using augmented reality(AI) to connect with people using Avatars and 3D visualization.
Mark Zuckerberg’s Take on This
“What I think is most interesting is how these themes will come together into a bigger idea,”
Zuckerberg also said “Our overarching goal across all of these initiatives is to help bring the metaverse to life.”
Why Zuckerberg Is Taking Risks and What Does It Imply?
Mark Zuckerberg’s idea to have a more realistic way to explore the social media using virtual reality is a drastic decision for the social media world. Although people say it’s not possible to achieve what it is to be but seeing what Zuckerberg has given to the Internet world, it can be sighted. Using Avatars to socialize with one another through Augmented Reality is really a big step towards technological development. It is rather a calculated risk seeing as what he has achieved and it doesn’t really change the name of the application. And at this stage, ideas like these are pre implemented and then shown to the real world of what they should expect. Just see how fast he changed the interface of Instagram which actually made it simpler and more addicting.
Zuckerberg has always made the best use of the opportunities. Just as when TikTok was banned by the Indian Government, after a while, Reels feature was introduced for Instagram because he knew that major number of users are from India and records say that nearly 6 Million videos are being uploaded on Instagram on an average everyday in India. I still remember the interface of Instagram back when I was in 8th grade and comparing it now, it’s advancement is laudable and flabbergasting. It implies that Zuckerberg is really the Big Bull of the Social Media business and is ready to take it to the next level. Remember, everything that we have now which has made our life easier, were once an idea.
Of course privacy is the one thing that people don’t want it to be breached and his companies such as Whatsapp has been dealing with privacy concerns as news being regulated around that the data of people is out there and end to end encryption is basically a hoax and an excuse to the privacy issues. And people are worried that Metaverse will bring with itself more privacy concerns and mockery.
My Take on Metaverse
As advanced our world is right now, ambitions of the scientists and entrepreneurs never stop and this big leap of Social media will change the whole scenario of it and the way we see it now. If Neal Stephenson’s idea of Metaverse as shown in the novel Snow Crash comes to life, it would mean that socializing will not just be limited to our phones but also with three-dimensional virtual space, we could actually explore the places using the AI which Mark Zuckerberg has been working and researching on. But one of the main problem is privacy and I or anyone in this world wouldn’t want their privacy to be publicized. He has been confirming about end to end encryption securing people’s data more and more but advancements do bring their own issues and it would just be a dream if we think Metaverse is easy to achieve and with no privacy or other concerns it would run. Creating a virtual reality-based Internet is not a piece of cake but rather a whole bakery metaphorically. Let’s hope whatever it leads the world to, doesn’t lead us to a dystopia or any other place where it isn’t safe for the people on the Internet.