At first when I heard that Mark Zuckerberg was renaming Facebook to Meta, I thought it was purely cosmetic, you know… like a stage name for a rapper an example being: Puff Daddy changed his name to Puffy, then Diddy, and all his other aliases. I quickly realized that there was a lot more going on, it as all over the news and a lot of chatter online about this “Meta” name change. So, I took to my trusty Google search bar, and was astonished at what I found, and honestly, I’m still shocked and still trying to make sense of it all – which thankfully is normal.
“Meta” Comes from Metaverse
The first thing that I learned was that the name “Meta” was inspired by the idea of building the Metaverse, there was a lot of information out there about the Metaverse, however Investopedia was the one to make the most sense of it for me:
“The metaverse is a digital reality that combines aspects of social media, online gaming, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and cryptocurrencies to allow users to interact virtually. Augmented reality overlays visual elements, sound, and other sensory input onto real-world settings to enhance the user experience. In contrast, virtual reality is entirely virtual and enhances fictional realities.
As the metaverse grows, it will create online spaces where user interactions are more multidimensional than current technology supports. Instead of just viewing digital content, users in the metaverse will be able to immerse themselves in a space where the digital and physical worlds converge.”
What does this mean for Facebook?
Now that we kind of understand what a Metaverse is, what does this have to do with Facebook? Well, once again Investopedia came to the rescue:
“Facebook has been talking metaverse for a while, noting in an Oct. 17, 2021, press release that the metaverse is "a new phase of interconnected virtual experiences using technologies like virtual and augmented reality. At its heart is the idea that, by creating a greater sense of "virtual presence," interacting online can become much closer to the experience of interacting in person."
Interest in the metaverse is expected to grow substantially as investors and companies want to be a part of what could be the next big thing. The metaverse is "going to be a big focus [of Facebook's], and I think that this is just going to be a big part of the next chapter for the way that the internet evolves after the mobile internet," Zuckerberg told technology site The Verge before announcing the name change. "And I think it's going to be the next big chapter for our company too, really doubling down in this area."
What does this mean for Us?
The creation of Metaverse changes the way we do business and how we operate as consumers. Forbes explains why this is such a big deal:
“Companies will need to transition their marketing strategies from online ad buys to existing in a shared, virtual economy. Companies will need to do market research on their new customers in the metaverse. How people act and what their preferences are in the metaverse could be totally different than how they behave and what they shop for in real life. Add to that the layer of business to robot to consumer, where virtual assistants and robots own the relationship with the consumer and it all starts to make sense.
While there are sure to be ads in the metaverse, brands can actually be part of creating the metaverse itself. Frederic Descamps, CEO of Manticore games said, “Even in [the film] ‘Ready, Player, One,’ who actually made the Metaverse there? It will be all about the act of creation.” Brands should approach this with responsibility and ethics and not make our world one giant ad. This is of the utmost importance.”
Life as we know it will be very different with Meta paving the way to a Metaverse. Businesses will once again need to adapt. In the meantime, keep an eye out for news on the Metaverse, the more you know, the more opportunities will present themselves for your products and services. There isn’t much information available out right now as Mark Zuckerberg and the Meta team pushes new technological boundaries.