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Facebook is now Meta, but what is the metaverse?

Image Credit: Rob Longert

Facebook is now Meta, but what is the metaverse?

Facebook stated that it will begin trading under the new stock symbol and that the announcement has no impact on how it uses or distributes data

Facebook hosted its virtual reality labs Connect event on October 28, during which Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg unveiled the renaming of Facebook and presented his vision of a metaverse, which inspired the name change. 

Mark Zuckerberg has announced that this company will be renamed Meta Platforms Inc, or Meta for short, to reflect its commitment to developing the immersive digital environment known as the metaverse.

“From now on we are going to be Metaverse first, not Facebook,” Zuckerberg said during a keynote address at the company’s annual developer’s conference. “I hope that people come to know the Meta brand and the future that we stand for.”

During Facebook’s annual Connect conference, Mark Zuckerberg discussed his vision for the metaverse. including a tease for a new high-end headset, the addition of more personalised home space, fitness-focused accessories, and a VR version of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.

“Right now, our brand is so tightly linked to one product that it can’t possibly represent everything that we’re doing today, let alone in the future. Over time, I hope that we are seen as a metaverse company, and I want to anchor our work and identity on what we’re building toward,” Zuckerberg added.

Please check out Mark’s keynote speech and his Founder’s Letter here.

What is a metaverse?

The metaverse, according to Facebook, will be a social, 3D virtual space where one can enjoy immersive experiences with other people even when they can’t be together in person – and do things together that they couldn’t do in the physical world. 

The metaverse will feel like a mash-up of today’s online social experiences, stretched into three dimensions or projected into the physical world at times. It will allow people to enjoy immersive experiences with others even when they are unable to be together — and do things together that they would not be able to do in the actual world. 

Here’s a video that explains what the Metaverse is all about: https://d1a.app.box.com/s/e6ut3x6z7b1zvk684m2irrwfi8gemkez/file/878630154065

“The metaverse is the next evolution in online social technology and will help us connect in ways not yet possible today. While nothing beats being together in person, recent months have highlighted how, when that’s not possible or practical, the digital world can still help us feel connected,” Will Easton, Managing Director, Australia, and New Zealand, Meta said.

“The metaverse will help us get closer to feeling that in-person presence through sharing a space rather than a screen. Facebook isn’t going to build, own or run the metaverse on its own, we will be collaborating at every stage with policymakers, experts and industry partners.

“There are already a wealth of Australian companies and creators working in this space, including fashion designers, gaming and VR experience creators, academics and marketers experimenting with new immersive formats.

“Australia has an opportunity to be at the forefront of this technology even at this early stage of its development,” Easton continued.

What were the announcements at Connect 2021?

According to Facebook, the metaverse will feel like a three-dimensional version of today’s online social experiences, which is why devices like VR headsets and AR glasses, as well as their related platforms, are so essential.

The future of work

Facebook’s new business offering will bring work capabilities into consumer Quest devices, including the ability to log into Quest 2 with a Work Account instead of your personal Facebook account. 

It will also bring businesses the tools they need, like account management, IDP & SSO integration, Mobile Device Management and more. Beginning to test this year; fully available in 2023.

2D apps coming to Quest 

Services like Slack, Dropbox, Facebook and Instagram, and many more will soon work in VR as 2D panel apps in Horizon Home, so one can multitask, cross things off the to-do list between gaming sessions, and stay connected while in VR. 

This starts bringing some of the popular 2D internet services into the metaverse, including Facebook, Instagram, Smartsheet, and Spike. More apps will follow soon, like Dropbox, Monday.com, MURAL, My5 (UK), Pluto TV, and Slack -all built using the Progressive Web App industry standard.

New personal workspace environment

A place to focus and work using the new suite of 2D panel apps, or just check a few things off your to-do list. 

Workrooms customization

For Horizon Workrooms, Facebook is working on launching the capability to customize the Workroom with company logo, posters, or designs.

VR news:

VR is getting more social, fitness is becoming a hot vertical, and Facebook is building out more ways VR can be used as a work device. 

“We know from the last couple of years that a lot of people can effectively work from anywhere. But the hybrid is going to be a lot more complex when some people are together and others are still remote, Zuckerberg said.

“So giving everyone the tools to be present no matter where they are – whether as a hologram sitting next to you in a physical meeting or in a discussion taking place in the metaverse – that’s going to be a gamechanger. I think this could be very positive for our society and economy.”

Social VR:

When someone joins an Oculus Party, they will be able to invite their friends into a new social version of Home where they will be embodied as their avatars.

Messenger calling in VR: 

Soon anyone will be able to communicate with friends across all apps and devices –including Portal –with Messenger calling in VR coming later this year. 


New fitness offerings on Oculus: Supernatural boxing, new FitXR fitness studios and Player 22 by Rezzil, which is currently used by pro-athletes, is adding guided and hand tracked bodyweight exercises. 

Controversial timing

The announcement comes as Facebook is in the midst of an existential crisis. In many parts of the world, it is facing increasing legal and regulatory scrutiny as a result of the revelations in the Facebook Papers. 

Mr Zuckerberg stated that the name “Facebook” no longer captures “everything we do” in explaining the rebranding. It now offers Instagram, Messenger, its Quest VR gear, its Horizon VR platform, and other services in addition to its flagship social network.

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Yajush Gupta

Yajush Gupta

Yajush is a journalist at Dynamic Business. He previously worked with Reuters as a business correspondent and holds a postgrad degree in print journalism.

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