By Edward. H, Gate.io Researcher
[Keywords] Facebook, Metaverse, AR, VR
At 11:00 on October 28th(local time in U.S.), Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg officially announced at Connect 2021 that Facebook would be rebranding to Meta and its stock ticker would be changing from FB to MVRS (short for Metaverse), effective December 1, 2021. In addition, the famous thumbs-up sign outside the headquarter office has been replaced by a new logo (a slightly compressed infinity sign). The website Meta.com is also live.
Zuckerberg believes that Facebook is one of the most used products in the history of the world and it’s an iconic social media brand, but at the same time, it doesn’t reflect everything they do. In the Founder’s Letter, he said “ Over time, I hope we are seen as a Metaverse company.”
In recent years, Facebook has invested a lot in VR and AR technology. In 2018, Facebook acquired virtual-reality firm Oculus for $2 billion, gradually establishing the strongest virtual reality technology ecosystem in the industry. On October 17th this year, Facebook announced its plan to recruit 10,000 people in the European Union within the next five years to work on "Metaverse". This shows that Facebook has a long-term plan in the Metaverse industry. Zuckerberg reckons that within the next decade, the Metaverse will reach a billion people, host hundreds of billions of dollars of digital commerce, and support jobs for millions of creators and developers. Considering the fact that Facebook's business involves almost half of the global population, the realization of this ambitious "Metaverse" vision is not just idle talk.
It is not uncommon for such technology giants to change their corporate name, especially when there is a shift in the direction of the company's business. In 2015, Google reorganized its corporate structure and created a parent company named Alphabet, with Google referred to as its wholly-owned subsidiary. The underlying reason was that Google had and is still exploring several emerging areas in addition to its search engine services, such as robot-driven vehicles, smart homes and even human longevity research. The company needed to clarify its business by reorganizing and setting up several different wholly-owned subsidiaries.
At 11:00 on October 28th (local time in U.S.), Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg officially announced at Connect 2021 that Facebook would be rebranding to Meta and its stock ticker would be changing from FB to MVRS (short for Metaverse), effective from December 1, 2021.
In recent years, Facebook has invested a lot in VR and AR technology. After its rebranding, it will gradually transition from a social media company to a Metaverse company.
The year 2021 witnesses the development of Metaverse, and this concept is increasing in popularity. According to Bloomberg, the Metaverse market could reach $800 billion by the end of the year 2024.
A.I and Blockchain technology brings the Metaverse closer to the real world and makes it possible for the Metaverse to get recognition in the industry.
Metaverse tokens such as Sand, Mana and Axie also witnessed a significant rise in price as Facebook made the rebranding announcement. .
Facebook’s rebranding story shares a similar plot with that of Google’s. After the rebranding event, Meta will focus more on developing Metaverse, a technology bringing you a more immersive experience, and will gradually transition from a social media company to a Metaverse company. Starting with the fourth-quarter financial results, Meta will report on two operating departments: “Family of Apps'' and “Reality Labs”. Reality Labs is responsible for VR and AR-related businesses while the Family of Apps will still involve well-known businesses such as Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp, and their names will not be changed. What’s more interesting is the fact that these social media subsidiaries and real-time communication platforms will gradually be integrated, and eventually build a VR-based shared environment.
But there are also those who question it. In recent years, Facebook has withstood much pressure from both market competition and the government’s supervision. Influenced by emerging platforms like TikTok, the growth of Facebook users is slowing down and there is an aging trend in the overall user group. Users aged 13 to 17 account for only 5.8% of its user base. In terms of regulation, Facebook is facing huge public pressure due to anti-monopoly, poor control on the spread of fake news, privacy data leak, and many other issues. Facebook changed its name to Meta for creating a new path for the company, and perhaps another significant reason was to get rid of the negative image that has been looming over Facebook since the last few years.
Metaverse Where Sci-fi Meets the Reality
Since its inception, Facebook has accumulated 2.9 billion monthly active users from all over the world. It’s undoubtedly a big gamble on giving up the brand name used for 17 years and going all-in on Metaverse, a brand-new field. But with the development of technologies such as A.I and Blockchain, the seemingly unattainable Metaverse is gradually coming into people's lives.
The word “Metaverse” is made up of two parts: “meta”, meaning “beyond” and “after” in Greek, and “verse”, meaning “universe”. Combining the two makes the word, “Metaverse”. The concept was first proposed by American writer Neal Stephenson in his 1992 science fiction novel, Snow Crash. Neal described his imagined Metaverse in this way:
"Just put on a headset and eyepiece and find a terminal to connect to another three-dimensional reality simulated by a computer. Everyone can have an Avatar in this virtual space that is parallel to the real world. It's a virtual world where everything in the real world is digitally copied, where people can do everything they do in the real world, like shopping, eating, tweeting, and accomplishing things they can't do in the real world, like teleportation......”
Some of the movies where we can imagine & feel the concept of Metaverse are “The Matrix” and “Ready Player One”
The Metaverse world is always online in real-time and can accommodate a large number of users at once. In addition, it provides users with rich content for consumption, a fair creation platform, a reliable economic system, and an immersive interactive experience. Imagine a world in the future where Metaverse becomes a "parallel world" of reality. A place in which people have their images, properties, families, jobs, and even, so to speak, we "migrate" to the Metaverse. Maybe in the future, people will start spending more of their time in Metaverse as they spend their time with their smartphones nowadays.
The year 2021 witnesses the development of Metaverse which has been a source of concern for numerous technology/Internet companies. Roblox, known as the "first Metaverse share” was listed on the New York Stock Exchange in March. It's the first company to write the concept of the Metaverse into the prospectus. Roblox CEO Baszucki summed up eight key features of the Metaverse: identity, friends, immersion, low latency, diversity, anywhere, economic, and civilization. Roblox also offers Play to Earn, an important economic incentive model for the Metaverse. Since then, the Metaverse has seen rapid popularity. According to Bloomberg, the Metaverse market could reach $800 billion by 2024, a value that is fully five times the size of today's gaming market. The prospect of the development of the Metaverse is evident.
Blockchain: An Express Helping Us Towards Metaverse
2016 is referred to as “the year of virtual reality”. Creating a vivid virtual world by creating immersion through VR, AR and other technologies is undoubtedly a major key to the Metaverse. That being said, A.I & Blockchain are the two most important technologies that are going to make Metaverse come into existence. With A.I technology, a large number of scenes and characters in the Metaverse can be generated automatically by algorithms where we can even see AI-based NPC with emotions in the Metaverse world. In addition, in a world where innumerable users can be deeply involved, an economic system that can truly guarantee "property rights" is essential, and this can only be achieved through various tokens based on Blockchain technology.
Blockchain technology has realized the "decentralized" nature of the Metaverse and the data in the Metaverse is no longer owned by publishers, but truly belongs to players themselves. Furthermore, it will be possible to achieve no downtime by running the entire Metaverse based on huge on-chain computers. This is already reflected in the current on-chain games. Additionally, crypto-related products such as NFT are going to add further charm to the Metaverse with their respective values. For example, the “skin” that a player uses in Metaverse A might also be available in Metaverse B. These values can be transferred and exchanged between different Metaverses and even between Metaverse and the real world through DeFi.
Facebook has also made many efforts in the area of Blockchain. It has launched its own cross-border payment cryptocurrency, Libra. And in the recent Facebook developer conference, Zuckerberg even said that the company's Metaverse will definitely support cryptocurrency and NFT to boost an economic system for the Metaverse.
As Facebook announced its rebranding to Meta on Friday, the company's shares closed 2.1% higher on the same day. The Ark Funds, which has been focusing on the crypto space, announced that it had bought around $63.83 million worth of Facebook shares. And at the same time, Metaverse tokens such as Sand, Mana and Axie also rose in response, with the price of Mana, for example, increasing nearly threefold.
Perhaps, as Zuckerberg predicted, people are at the beginning of the next chapter of the internet. Resources in the real world are always limited, but in the virtual world, people can access nearly unlimited space and enjoy infinite development. This makes it possible for the Metaverse to have a great future. In the future, the Metaverse may gradually integrate deeply with the real world and eventually become an important part of life, and may even become a part of people's life themselves.
Blockchain technology will undoubtedly play an extremely crucial role in this long road of realizing the true potential of Metaverse. The Metaverse is most likely to be presented through the gaming experience, and the current Game-Fi ecosystem is much closer to the prototype of the actual Metaverse.
Which Blockchain projects will stand out and which companies will be able to grasp opportunities and change the world? To know this answer, stay tuned.
For more details of the Metaverse, please read:
Into the Metaverse, Where Sci-fi Meets the Reality
Game-Fi: The Key To The Metaverse
By Edward. H, Gate.io Researcher
*This article represents only the views of the researcher and does not constitute any investment suggestions.
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