The Facebook group changes its group name to Meta. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced this on Thursday. Will his new “Metaverse” be the successor to the mobile Internet?
The Facebook group is giving itself a new name. The umbrella company via services such as Facebook or Instagram will in future be called Meta, as Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced on Thursday. With the new name, Zuckerberg wants to focus on the new virtual environment “Metaverse”, in which he sees the future of digital communication – and also of his company.
He also wants to use it to lead the group more strongly out of the shadow of its original and so far most important platform Facebook. In addition to Instagram, the company group also includes the Whatsapp and Messenger chat apps.
In the “Metaverse” physical and digital worlds are supposed to come together
“Today we are seen as a social media company, but at the core, we are a company that connects people,” said Zuckerberg. The name Facebook was no longer able to reflect the entire range of products offered by the group.
According to the presentation of the 37-year-old Facebook founder, the “Metaverse” is to bring together physical and digital worlds. On the one hand, Zuckerberg relies on virtual reality (VR), in which users can immerse themselves in digital worlds with special glasses on their heads. The VR company Oculus also belongs to the Facebook group.
“Metaverse” as the successor to the mobile Internet?
The Facebook founder also sees so-called augmented reality (AR) as a “metaverse” component, in which digital content is faded into the real environment for the viewer on displays or with the help of projector glasses.
“We believe that the” Metaverse “will be the successor to the mobile Internet,” emphasized Zuckerberg. Facebook is expanding its virtual “Metaverse” worlds under the name Horizon.
At the in-house developer conference Connect, Zuckerberg gave the most detailed description of his “Metaverse” concept to date. It will be a virtual world that you can immerse yourself in even more deeply, right down to the facial expressions of the people around you. “Instead of looking at a screen, you will be right in the middle of these experiences.” The feeling of being there is the decisive feature of the «Metaverse», he emphasized. “If I send a video of my children to my parents, they will feel that they are with us.” At first, it remained unclear which technical means would be used to implement this presence effect beyond the VR headsets.
Changes for Oculus users too
The Facebook founder announced “Horizon Home”, a new, “more social” home for Oculus users. However, the area looks very similar to the start area that VR glasses users already find today. What is new is that users can use rooms and virtual objects across the boundaries of individual games or events.
Physical objects will be able to be scanned so that they are also present in the “Metaverse”, said the Facebook founder. At the same time, they will be able to be projected as holograms anywhere in the real world. In the next five to ten years, much of it will be part of everyday life, emphasized Zuckerberg.
Zuckerberg said that his company hopes to have one billion users in the “Metaverse” by 2030 – and several hundred million dollars in business.
Name change as a sign of a new alignment
In the past few weeks, Facebook has come under great pressure from internal documents made public by a former employee. Frances Haugen appears as a whistleblower and accuses Facebook of putting profits above the well-being of its users.
Facebook isn’t the first Silicon Valley corporation to change its company name to signal that the company’s direction has expanded. In 2015, for example, Google put a new holding company called Alphabet over the group. The Internet company wanted to signal that it not only operates a search engine and a cloud business but also has ambitions for driverless cars, health solutions and other high-tech areas. However, almost all of Alphabet’s revenue is still generated by Google, and the bottom line is that the other companies are only posting losses. Google boss Sundar Pichai is now also at the top of the alphabet.