Mark Zuckerberg says the metaverse is ‘the next generation of the internet,’ but what is it?
Zuckerberg says he wants to create the “feeling that you’re really there with another person or in another place,” in part with avatars and digital goods.
«It’s a virtual environment. We can be present with people in digital spaces. And you can kind of think about this is an embodied Internet that you’re inside of rather than just looking at. And we believe that this is going to be the successor to the mobile Internet. You’re going to be able to access the metaverse from all different devices and different levels of fidelity from apps on phones and PCs to immersive virtual and augmented reality devices.
Within the metaverse, you can build a hang out, play games with friends, work, create and more. You’re basically going to be able to do everything that you can on the Internet today, as well as some things that don’t make sense on the Internet today like dancing. The defining quality of the metaverse is presence, which is this feeling that you’re really there with another person or in another place. Creation, avatars and digital objects are going to be central to how we express ourselves and this is going to lead to entirely new experiences and economic opportunities. I think that, overall, this is one of the most exciting projects that we’re going to get to work on in our lifetime. But it could take a lot of work and no one company is going to be able to build this all by themselves. Part of what I’ve learned over the last five years is that we can’t just focus on building great experiences. We also need to make sure that we’re helping to build ecosystem so millions of other people can participate in the upside and opportunity of what we’re all creating. They’re going to need to be new protocols and standards, new devices, new chips, new software from rendering engines to payment systems and everything in between.
And in order for the metaverse to fill its potential, and we believe that it should be built in a way that is open for everyone to participate. I expect that this is going to create a lot of value for many companies, up and down the stack, but it’s also going to require a very significant investment over many years. I see our focus here as a continuation of our work to build technology that brings people together. In many ways, the metaverse is the ultimate expression of social technology. Some of the experiences that I’ve dreamed of building since well before I started Facebook are only starting to become possible now. If you look at the investments that we’ve made over the years, you can see this vision gradually starting to come to focus, and you could see why we’re so excited about it.»