Facebook metaverse review: “People fear the sugar worm”

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Facebook wants to become a Metaverse company. But do people want a Facebook metaverse? Famed marketing researcher Scott Galloway isn’t convinced. Other researchers also urge caution.

Last summer, the boss of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, revealed his somewhat hazy vision of the Metaverse: it would be a technology replacing the mobile Internet, accessible via many devices and which, thanks to VR and to AR, gains in spatiality and encounters compared to the current one. The Internet.

Facebook plans to complete its transformation into a Metaverse company in just five years. Zuckerberg recently installed his longtime friend Andrew Bosworth as Facebook’s new chief technology officer. Bosworth still leads the XR department and is focused on hardware.

Facebook must become independent

We know that Facebook wants to moderate the era of smartphones as quickly as possible and begin a new technological phase in which the advertising group frees itself from the material and application grips of Apple and Google.

How quickly the two big tech rivals can interfere in Facebook’s ecosystem can be seen in Apple’s recently introduced restriction on personalized advertising. This has a direct impact on Facebook sales. For Facebook, this dependence is an entrepreneurial risk – the group wants to control the entire value chain.

Afraid of the “sweet verse”?

New York University marketing professor Scott Galloway, who examines the strategies of tech giants Amazon, Facebook, Apple and Google in his bestseller “The Four,” credits Zuckerberg as driving the idea of ​​the metaverse – and makes a critical judgment.

“For him to decide that the only way to increase our consciousness is to become the universe is one of those problems that, if you sit and think about it for too long, can’t lead to anything good,” says Galloway. the Guardians. .

People are not afraid of the metaverse, but they are afraid of the “sweet verse” – this is the result of Facebook’s strong social media dominance. “There are more people getting their information from Facebook than people in the southern hemisphere plus India,” Galloway says.

Galloway has been critical of Facebook’s virtual reality strategy for years, even calling virtual reality “the biggest lie in tech history” in 2018.

The Metaverse Could Support Facebook’s Data Dominance

Other researchers interviewed by the Guardian describe risks such as lack of equality if not everyone has access to the metaverse, or the growing dominance of Facebook data if people spend even more time in Facebook apps. .


With Horizon Workrooms, Facebook is launching a first metaverse brick for the world of work. | Picture: Facebook

“For me, this is just one more step in monetizing data for the benefit of Facebook and other big platforms that are sold to people as fun, exciting, useful for productivity at work, etc.”, said Robin Mansell, professor of humanities, new media and the internet at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Drawing on experiences around social media, she calls on governments to intervene early on the metaverse and demand transparency and data protection, for example.


Facebook Washington’s Metaverse campaigns are underway

Facebook employees are currently swarming and are believed to be paving the way for the idea of ​​Facebook’s Metaverse in the minds of developers and politicians. According to the Washington Post, Facebook’s Metaverse lobbying in Washington is already well underway. Zuckerberg should leave those tasks to head of public relations Nick Clegg, a former British deputy prime minister, and COO Sheryl Sandberg.

Nick Clegg Bosworth would give a talk called “Journey into the Metaverse” at the Atlantic Ideas Festival in Washington, which Facebook is co-funding. Further meetings with various groups on topics such as standards and protocols for the upcoming virtual world are reportedly underway.

“It’s not a question of reputation. It’s basic. We are now reaching out to policy makers, academics, partners and other experts because we are [das Metaverse] I want to do it responsibly,” Facebook spokesperson Kevin McAlister told The Washington Post.

Joan Donovan, research director of Harvard University’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy, disagrees: The Metaverse campaign is designed to warn regulators and potential problems with new technologies.

Learn more about Facebook’s Metaverse strategy:

Sources: The Guardian, Washington Post

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