This is a dilemma facing the titans of the United States West Coast. Facebook, Microsoft and many investors have incredible capital. But they have nothing to offer people that will make them look up from their smartphones. Overall, they still look like they did in 2010. The bulky VR glasses, which Facebook has invested billions in, only appeal to a niche audience among computer gamers. Most people don’t want to appear at conferences as three-dimensional holograms, they just watch the poorly lit faces of their colleagues through cheap webcams.
But companies have to use all the money to build something new to continue their rapid growth in the future. This is where the so-called metaverse comes in – supposedly a kind of three-dimensional internet that displays in special glasses everywhere in front of your nose and can be operated either by voice command or by waving hands. But the story of the new Internet is just a fairy tale, designed to take advantage of long-established technologies.
Web 2.0, social media, mobile internet – the big stories of the tech industry have been told. Pervasive surveillance scandals and the spread of muddled political theories have tarnished the image of corporations as saviors of the world. With the one we said goodbye to on the weekend Digital Services Act The EU also imposes strict rules on online platforms that are unique in the world. Silicon Valley needs a “next big thing,” which it has always delivered, or so it claims. But the next big thing, it doesn’t exist.
Users should finally become customers who leave money
What the Metaverse is, even the companies that want to build it can’t explain exactly what it is. One way or another, within ten years, virtual and augmented reality, computer games, social media and payment systems will merge into a new network that will cover people’s daily lives like a veil. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg reportedly responded to a report by Business Intern says he is so obsessed with the idea that his employees are overwhelmed. They don’t even know what they have to do to build this new universe. The corresponding software from Microsoft and Facebook currently looks like bloated conferencing software, occasionally an animated fish swims across the image. Blubb.
How technologies should be seamlessly connected to form a 3D network between companies, each of which aspires to monopoly profits and therefore has an aversion to sharing data – and money – remains unclear. There is a kernel of truth in the Metaverse slogan, but it is not a revolution, but a struggle for distribution. This is the next level in the entertainment industry. Facebook and Microsoft want to get more involved in computer games, because pixels can only be sold there at very high prices. Users should finally become customers who leave money.
Because what the companies refer to as a metaverse already exists – in games like “Fortnite” or “Roblox”, which are played by hundreds of millions of people. There they can play with others, but also buy virtual items such as weapons or costumes. If creative users are selling digital goods they’ve created themselves in Facebook’s precursor metaverse “Horizon Worlds,” the group wants its cut: a sporting 47.5%. The goal is therefore not a new virtual world that makes people’s daily lives easier or even raises awareness. It’s about claiming the virtual amusement parks of tomorrow.
It will be hard work to get the world excited about this mix of social network and online casino that requires uncomfortable glasses. Investors have already judged: Facebook’s share price has crashed 31% in one year – despite or perhaps because of Metaverse’s grandiose announcement. The Metaverse fairy tale does not work in financial markets. But customers should believe it.