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From Facebook to Meta: Understanding the Concept of Metaverse

Facebook on October 28 disclosed that it had amended its corporate name to Meta. The name change, confirmed at the Facebook Connect augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) conference, reveals the firm's evolving intentions beyond social media.

The rebrand enters after the company has bargained with a salvo of reports in the preceding month arising from a former employee-turned-whistleblower Frances Haugen's treasure of internal documents that indicated the company allegedly selected profit over safety.

The company adopted the new moniker founded on the science-fiction term metaverse (meta and universe) coined by author Neal Stephenson in his 1992 novel "Snow Crash." To define its concept for working, playing, and influencing in a virtual realm, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg says horizon is the social platform they are building in the metaverse.

Understanding Meta's New Logo

Meta is the new name for Facebook, the parent organization of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, among other subsidiaries. The company has uncovered a different logo mending the old straightforward symbol with a distorted infinity loop, a Mobius strip perhaps.

The logo breathes in motion and is three-dimensional (3D). The giant tech designs the new symbol as a continual loop that transforms and carries on distinct meaning leaning on the viewer's angle; the emblem is like the letter M for "Meta" from one corner and an infinity figure from another – echoing the immense layers and limitless horizons in the metaverse.

Etymologically speaking, the Greek word "meta" translates to "beyond." For Zuckerberg, he believes that "there is always more to build" in the metaverse. Hence, [T]he corporate logo symbolizes the lasting network of associations and emotions customers perceive about the firm.

Naturally, right after the announcement, the Internet began surging with speculations, opinions, and inevitable criticism. Critics, including font fanatics, were fixated on the infinity character, arguing it is emulative and cliche. Nevertheless, it remains speculative whether the logo will become an avatar for intellectual curiosity and optimistic human relations, as Zuckerberg aspires, or yet another daunting capitalist symbol that dazes our devices.

Knowing the Metaverse: Glimpse to its Basic Features

If you have watched the movie "Ready Player One," you have a fair opinion of what the metaverse is already. The film has the most realistic fictional representation of futuristic VR technology where anything is possible. Almost the same is true in the planned metaverse. Zuckerberg reveals some essential features that we can encounter there, which are the following:

1. Presence. Zuckerberg explains that the metaverse will let us participate in immersive experiences with other people and feel present — like we are right there with each other — no matter how distant we are.

2. Avatars. Another idea of the metaverse is to let us build customizable, digital versions of ourselves to one day join social events without leaving our homes. These lifelike "Codec avatars" will enable us to alter our clothing, hairstyle, facial expressions, and many more at the press of a button. We can control it using VR goggles.

3. Home space. Called Horizon Home, it seems like the virtual home some people already have in their Oculus VR headsets. We can bring friends to hang out, watch videos, and hop into games and apps jointly using these headsets that Meta will soon produce.

4. Teleporting. Zuckerberg says teleporting will become a reality in the metaverse as we can run across varied experiences operating various devices. He asserts that we can teleport instantaneously as a hologram to be at our offices or workplaces without the need to commute, spend extra time on what matters, dispatch time in traffic, and diminish carbon footprint.

5. Interoperability. Critically, no one company will run the metaverse. It is an "embodied Internet" regulated by several unique players in a federalized way. Where instead of just viewing content, we are in it — an interoperable ecosystem!

6. Privacy and safety. Privacy concerns greeted the rollout of metaverse plans. However, Meta noted that building responsibility on the first day is crucial for everyone composing the metaverse with all the recently formulated technologies. The firm said European partners in its Extended Reality (XR) Programs and Research Fund, a two-year, $50 million undertaking to help assemble the metaverse responsibly.

7. Virtual goods. If Meta is victorious, it will earn money from exchanging virtual goods in the metaverse, together with other virtual experiences. For example, those free games could potentially make money by selling virtual goods to players. It will be a corporate buzzword to make investors enthusiastic about inventions that may not even arrive in the next few years.

8. Natural interfaces. The famous metaverse contemplation often depicts a standard interface, thinking we will all enter as "Player One," ready to play similar games by similar rules. But what we will discover is a myriad of business models, content types, and classes of experiences. A closed-garden VR space is not what metaverse we think it is; instead, it will occur as our digital lifestyles begin to join in the physical world.

It is going to take years for Zuckerberg's plans to happen. According to futuristic specialists, it could take 15 years for the metaverse to come to fruition. While the COVID-19 pandemic has provoked people's familiarity with the remote working lifestyle, the metaverse concept is a phase ahead in that path. To settle in a realm where we have our prime avatar expressing with others in virtual vacua, it is a given that we must first embrace an ongoing innovation through the lenses of a metamorphosis.


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