This is an excerpt of a post by Meta's President of Global Affairs, Nick Clegg. Find the full post here.
When Facebook rebranded as Meta last October, it brought into the mainstream a concept that has been exciting the bright minds of Silicon Valley for years: the metaverse. Mark Zuckerberg’s unveiling of a vision for a new era of integrated, immersive technologies was met with enthusiasm in some quarters, and cynicism in others. It’s easy to see why. Skepticism is a natural reaction to something that sounds like it’s straight out of a science fiction novel — in a way, it is — especially when there are wider societal concerns about how tech operates in the two-dimensional world.
Many rightly ask: what is the metaverse and why should I care? And even if I can be persuaded that it is worth getting excited about, how can I trust that these new technologies will be built and governed responsibly?
When Facebook started 18 years ago, we mostly typed text on websites. When we got phones with cameras, the internet became more visual and mobile. As connections got faster, video became a richer way to share things. We’ve gone from desktop to web to mobile; from text to photos to video.
In this progression, the metaverse is a logical evolution. It’s the next generation of the internet — a more immersive, 3D experience. Its defining quality will be a feeling of presence, like you are right there with another person or in another place.
A wide range of technology companies — from big players like Microsoft and Google to smaller ones like Niantic and Emblematic — are already building experiences and products for the metaverse. Early versions of it already exist in the virtual worlds of games like Roblox, Minecraft and Fortnite. It incorporates technologies like virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) that, while still young, have been in use for some time.