Facebook metaverse: a new virtual world
Facebook just announced it with great fanfare: Facebook group will become Meta. This change aims to highlight the future objective of the group: the creation of a metaverse, a virtual and persistent world. For now, the metaverse remains a project that is not yet well known to the public.
Facebook had been developing its project for years. But it's only recently that the social network has really started promoting it - the metaverse is now at the heart of the group's development strategy. Mark Zuckerberg sees this as the future of the company, as evidenced by the group's recent name change. By becoming Meta, the multinational wants to further position itself as a leader in the field. But what is the metaverse we are talking about?
One of the latest signs of the acceleration in the development of the metaverse on Facebook was the launch, on October 17, 2021, of a recruitment announcement, at first glance quite classic. The social network is opening positions and looking for new talent to fill them. So far, nothing too special. Except this hiring campaign is at the scale of the social network: colossal. And above all, it focuses on a project still little known on the site: the metaverse.
In detail, the American company intends to hire 10,000 profiles over the next five years. You do not intend to look for them anywhere: it is in the European Union that Facebook says it wants to look for "highly qualified" people, particularly "highly specialized engineers" to develop what the site describes as the "computing platform" of the future. " .
WHAT IS A METAVERSE?
This is another name for what Facebook describes as the "IT platform of the future." It is a fictional virtual universe, in which individuals could evolve in persistent and shared spaces, in three dimensions. It would be a kind of Internet of the future, where we would no longer navigate online in two dimensions, with web browsers, but with avatars, 3D viewers and virtual reality.
The universe depicted in the movie Ready Player One is similar to a (highly evolved) metaverse.
For its part, Facebook describes the project as "a new phase of interconnected virtual experiences using technologies such as virtual reality and augmented reality. At its core is the idea that by creating a greater sense of virtual presence, online interaction can get much closer to the experience of interacting in person. "
The metaverse concept is a notion that could be found in its embryonic state in massively multiplayer games - which feature persistent worlds - or in a much more advanced and futuristic version in Steven Spielberg's sci-fi film Ready Player One, where the protagonists meet. They don visors and haptic outfits to reach a world out of the world, the Oasis.
SINCE WHEN IS FACEBOOK INTERESTED IN THE METAVERSE?
It is certainly very difficult to date precisely the moment when Mark Zuckerberg told himself that he was going to launch a metaverse, especially since the social network assures that he does not want to work alone on the subject - in his press release, Facebook specifies. that the construction of this computing platform of the future is being done "in collaboration with others". But obviously the idea has been floating around for almost a decade.
We recall that in 2014, on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the social network, Mark Zuckerberg carried out an anticipation exercise imagining the next ten years of the site: "over the next decade, technology will help us. New ways to capture and communicate new ways of experience". So we were in February. And in March, Facebook bought Oculus VR.
Facebook has spent a total of $ 2 billion to get its hands on this American company specializing in virtual reality devices. And two months later, Brendan Iribe, CEO of Oculus VR, spoke about the possible prospect of leveraging the Facebook community to have some kind of MMO with a billion members, number of subscribers at the time.
Facebook's initiatives in this area were strengthened in 2019, when Horizon, a concept of social and playful universe in virtual reality, was unveiled, although in this area, Facebook was already communicating about projects in 2016. More recently, in August 2021, the site broke Horizon news showing a first variation, Workrooms, which offers a virtual reality alternative to video conferencing.
The communication of Facebook about the new identity of the group and the metaverse could appear as a detour and a way of talking about the social network in a slightly different way than through scandals and controversies. However, his metaverse project actually predates the more recent controversies.