What Is The ‘Metaverse’ And What Does It Have To Do With Facebook?
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Facebook said on Monday that it will hire 10,000 people in Europe to help it build a “metaverse.” The concept of the metaverse is quickly becoming a buzzword in technology and business. But what does it mean?
WHAT IS THE METAVERSE?
Many science fiction books and films are set in fully-fledged metaverses – alternative digital worlds which are indistinguishable from the real physical world. But this is still the stuff of fiction. Currently, most virtual spaces look more like the inside of a video game than real life.
Metaverse is a broad term. It generally refers to shared virtual world environments which people can access via the internet. The term can refer to digital spaces which are made more lifelike by the use of virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality (AR).
In August, it was reported that Facebook is building a brave new world called the metaverse. The term refers to a collective virtual space in which people can interact with each other in an augmented reality.
WHY IS IT TAKING OFF?
Consumer, tech, entertainment and other companies are looking at this as the next frontier, as people can live, work and socialize together in a virtual world. It’s predicted that the metaverse will be the next important step up from the internet. Instead of Zoom calls, you can interact with co-workers and clients in a virtual environment that feels real. You can purchase homes, play video games, interact with family and friends, attend concerts, shop, try on clothes at a store and buy items.
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, is one of the leaders of this mission to make the metaverse available and accessible to everyone. Zuckerberg told his employees that he believes that this will be a big part of the future of the social media company.
WHO IS GETTING INVOLVED?
The idea of the metaverse is attracting a lot of interest from investors and companies who are keen to be part of the next big thing. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in July that the company will try to transition from being a social media company to a metaverse company in the next five years or so.
The term is popular in Silicon Valley, with Microsoft also having mentioned converging the digital and physical worlds.
Musicians can do virtual concerts within these platforms. For example, in September millions of people watched the singer Ariana Grande virtually perform in Fortnite, Epic Games said.
The world’s biggest fashion companies have also experimented with making virtual clothing, which people’s avatars can wear in metaverse environments.
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