The artist formerly known as Facebook has been banging on about the ‘metaverse’ for a while now, a term seems to describe a utopia/dystopia in which all our external interactions are informed by some kind of digital overlay that will somehow improve reality. The most acute among you may already be forming a suspicion about which company will provide, manage and monetize this platform.
“I’m proud of what we’ve built so far, and excited about what comes next – as we move beyond what’s possible today, beyond the constraints of screens, beyond the limits of distance and physics -and towards a future where everyone can be present with each other, create new opportunities, and experience new things,” said Facebook founder and Meta boss Mark Zuckerberg.
“With all the scrutiny and public debate, some of you might be wondering why we’re doing this right now. The answer is that I believe that we’re put on this earth to create. I believe that technology can make our lives better. And I believe the future won’t be built on its own.”
Zuck is, of course, referring to all the aggro Facebook (which is what everyone is still going to call his company) is having to put up with thanks its superstar ‘whistleblower’. But of far great consequence to everyone except those who seek to influence its censorship policies in their favour is the company’s recent outage, which paralysed everyone who depends on its services. Surely that alone is reason enough to hesitate before immersing yourself even further into the proposed metaverse.
It is to Facebook’s credit that it hasn’t allowed external events to influence its core strategic direction, especially since this vision will only add fuel to the moral panic around the company. In fact, it could be argued that the timing of this corporate rebrand is perfect, since the Facebook brand is tarnished for a number of reasons. Whether it will help, however, remains far from certain judging by much of the social media reaction.