At Facebook Connect 2021, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that the Facebook company would be renamed to Meta and would be primarily a VR company rather than a social media company. Here’s what it means for the 360 and VR industry.
At his Facebook Connect 2021 Keynote, Zuckerberg did not launch a new VR headset, disappointing many who were expecting the Oculus Quest Pro, but he announced a new vision for the company. Instead of revolving around the Facebook social network, his company would be focused on creating the metaverse, a virtual world where people can be present with each other through VR and AR, which Zuckerberg believes is the next step in the evolution of the internet.
This sounds a bit abstract, so here’s a concrete example: instead of going to a physical office, you could instead wear a VR headset and be at your virtual office, where you can see your colleagues and interact with them. Going to your office this way saves commuting time but also makes it possible to do things that would not be possible in the real world, such as to see a house you designed in dollhouse view and also be able to enter the house as well.
This vision has huge implications for the 360 and VR industry because instead of being merely creative artists, we will be among the first creators and builders of this metaverse. On a more practical level, I expect that Meta will pour its considerable resources into creating this metaverse, and I think some of those investments will trickle down to 360 and VR creators. For example, Meta could have grants for creators, or could facilitate ways of monetizing our content such as through NFT transactions.
It will be interesting to see how quickly the metaverse can grow. Regardless, this is a welcome development for the 360 and VR communities.