Metaverse is a word that is only gaining more traction by the day. With Facebook changing its name to Meta, it is only adding fuel to the fire.
The world of Facebook and metaverse is interconnected as Facebook has recently decided to rebrand itself as Meta.
The name change which came as a strategic move on the part of Zuckerberg was a huge leap. It not only showed Facebook’s investment towards the Metaverse world, but it also positioned itself as one of the leading companies investing in the metaverse.
As many more companies like Microsoft, Google and even Retail Giants like Nike are gravitating towards the metaverse, the number of companies in the metaverse is seeing a rise each day.
In this article, we shall explore what the metaverse is all about and we also bring you the critical relationship between Facebook and Metaverse. We also take a look at the key company in metaverse right now and how they are contributing towards building a meta-esque world.
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What is the Metaverse ?
Metaverse is essentially an online platform that aims to change the digital space. Its primary goal is to create a hyper-real world that mimics the technicalities of the real physical world.
A perfect mirror to the real world, metaverse aims to capitalise on the digital prowess of the future. All activities can take place in a physical world, be it a vacation, a party at a night club or even a board meeting. Everything can be held in the metaverse.
What is the Metaverse all about?
Among all the hullabaloo of a Meta world and the creation of metaverse, a very impertinent question that arises is: what is the metaverse all about?
The metaverse makes use of technologies like Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), Three Dimensional Characters (3D), and different modes of communication.
Metaverse does mark as a fresh new stage of the internet. Here People can create their 3D Avatars and customize them according to their liking. Imagine creating a mini version of yourself on different social media and then actually getting to hang out with your friends in a virtual café. Sounds pretty interesting, if you may ask. Metaverse aims to make this a reality.
Software Pioneer Microsoft founder Bill Gates has predicted that within the next two to three years, most of the meetings can be held in virtual formats in the metaverse.
As the world becomes more digitally inclined, all corporations wish to leverage the power of the internet even more. As such companies in metaverse right now are envisioning a world that may be “the next big thing” of the future.
Just as if we would buy a new T-shirt from a store and wear it to a party, in the same way in the metaverse we could buy things for our Avatar on one platform and also carry it forward towards the other platforms.
Metaverse was defined to be the fourth wave to computers following mainframe computers, personal computers and Mobile computers, by the famous venture capitalist Matthew Ball. .
Matthew Ball also known as the expert when it comes to the metaverse, says that it’s about moving people into “Ambient Computing”. He further goes on to say it’s no more about just accessing the internet to interact, but rather staying online always. Similarly, it’s not about accessing the computer anymore, but rather is living within the computer. 
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Literary Roots of Metaverse
The word “Metaverse” finds its origin in a book published by Neal Stephenson back in 1992. “Snow Crash,” a dystopian sci-fi novel tells the story of a futuristic world where the government has been toppled by might corporations.
Similarly, in Stephenson’s novel, the metaverse is a place that the characters of the story can access by wearing headsets and earphones. It’s an alternate digital reality, quite similar to Facebook’s metaverse. Apart from these a few other similarities between Facebook’s metaverse and Snow Crash.
Similarities between Facebook’s Meta and the novel “Snow Crash”
Characters in Snow Crash required VR headsets to access the metaverse. Similarly, Facebook has revealed in its Annual developer Conference, Facebook Connect, that tech like VR headsets and sensors gloves will be used to access the metaverse. Such technology would apparently be needed for a fully immersive experience of the meta world.
Virtual Avatars are present both in Snow Crash and Facebook’s Meta. Facebook has also gotten many patents approved by the United States Government regarding VR headsets and hyper-realistic human-like digital Avatars. These avatars will be used as character representation while participating in the metaverse. They can be customised to your own liking to look like you or even to create a new identity altogether.
Snow Crash’s metaverse had an electronically encrypted currency that people could use in the metaverse. This is quite similar to the cryptocurrencies that we have available right now. Metaverse in Snow Crash also deals with spending money on virtual real estate in a digital space. Companies like Decentraland and The Sandbox have already made this feature available. The blockchain-enabled VR platforms also allow people to purchase virtual real estate through different cryptocurrencies that hold real monetary value.
Facebook and Metaverse
The origin of Facebook Metaverse
In October 2021, Facebook renamed itself, Meta. The historic name change was announced at the annual Facebook developers conference known as the Facebook Connect AR/VR Conference.
It shows the company’s ambitions and future wishes to become a company that is not just limited to social media. The company even invested almost 10 billion dollars into its AR/VR hardware, software and content. No wonder it is one of the best companies in the metaverse right now.
Facebook’s Meta aligns with the future of the internet as Zuckerberg envisages it. Meta (Formerly known as Facebook) is definitely the market leader when it comes to companies in the metaverse. Facebook has completely remarketed itself to package itself as a metaverse company.
Meta has to be the biggest player in the race of companies investing in the Metaverse. Tech Giant CEO Mark Zuckerberg also said, “ “From now on, we’re going to be the metaverse first, not Facebook first,” 
Although Zuckerberg said that the technology will still need five to ten years to actually become as mainstream as the internet today. But some features of metaverse do exist currently. Examples of such features are super-fast broadband speeds, virtual reality headsets and sensors, and always online digital worlds.
Meta has made significant investments in virtual reality platforms. In 2014, it acquired the Oculus, a virtual-reality platform, for a whopping $2 Billion. Zuckerberg envisages a future with metaverse as the next level of the internet where users not only “log in” to the metaverse, but also become a part of it. Whether it is travelling for work or vacation or hosting get-togethers, Meta aims to be the choice of platform for everything.
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Changes brought by Meta
Not just a name change, But Zuckerberg calls metaverse the “next frontier just like social networking was when we got started”  he described their main mission as to be a company that creates technology that can connect people. And in this bid, the world of the metaverse is an appropriate next step that shall be realised within the next decade.
On announcing the new name, the company also changed its stock sticker to MVRS, from the previous FB.
The VR Service Horizons workroom was launched in August 2021. It is like a sneak-peak to what metaverse can be. Wearing VR headsets, one can sit inside the horizons lab similar to how you would behave in a conference room.
The Horizon Home is less corporate than the Horizons workroom and it is more consumer-focused. It is a front end experience for Oculus Quest 2 VR Experience. 
Users can build and customise their Home to their liking. It will be a digital space where different users can gather and watch movies together, hold live events and also host different activities.
Meta Quest and Meta Portal
The company’s CTO Andrew Bosworth also revealed that Meta has planned a complete rebranding for the Oculus product line as well. From 2022, the Oculus Virtual Reality headset and Oculus App will be called by their Meta counterparts.
The Oculus Quest is renamed Meta Quest and the Oculus Quest App will be named the Meta Quest App.
The Facebook Portal is also undergoing a name change. Within a few months, the Facebook Portal shall be known as “Meta Portal” 
The entire Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality division headed by Bosworth known as the Facebook Reality Labs, will now be known as just Reality Labs.
All these changes are made in order to align the products’ values and names with that of Meta’s. They wish to bring all the products and services closer to the “Meta” brand name.
Bosworth also expressed that he wishes, “When people buy our products, we want them to clearly understand that all of these devices come from Meta and ladder up to our metaverse vision”. 
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Worries Regarding Facebook’s Metaverse
The re-branding of Facebook as Meta may have been a calculated step on the part of Zuckerberg to move towards the next level of the internet: Web 3.0. But, no one can deny the monopoly that Facebook (now Meta) held over the internet,
Instagram and WhatsApp both belong to Facebook. With the world’s two leading apps belonging to Meta, it has a monopoly over how it uses our data.
According to Statista, a study shows that 32% of US adults have a very unfavorable opinion of Mark Zuckerberg. 
In fact, As of November 2021, 51% of US adults think of the renaming of Facebook as Meta as a move to distance the company from the negative press. 
Privacy concern related to personal data seems to be the number 1 concern of people when it comes to Meta. Meta’s poor privacy practices are also highlighted by the infamous Cambridge Analytica Scandal. Meta was accused of using the data of millions of users to manipulate their opinions and sway in their favours.
With the vision of Metaverse, mark Zuckerberg wishes to usher into the new age of the internet. Just as Facebook revolutionalised the social networking experience, Meta wishes to do the same for Mixed Reality Technology through the metaverse.
With a new world, it is a given that a host of new advantages and disadvantages will also arise. You may be sceptical about the future or the safety of the metaverse, but you cannot deny the considerable impact that it shall have on the future of the internet and the digital world as we know it.
1. Which company owns the metaverse?
Metaverse is not owned by any company individually, but it is rather a concept. With many companies in metaverse right now, Facebook is helmed as a leader.
2. What is the Facebook (Meta) Virtual Reality App?
Meta (formerly known as Facebook) opened the door to its Virtual Reality app where users above 18 can make avatars and interact. Known as Horizon World, this app is only available for US and Canadian adults.
3. What is metaverse Roblox?
Roblox is a platform that contains numerous user-generated games, where users can build homes, work out or play out different scenarios. It is also one of the companies in the metaverse right now.
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