Science and Technology

How Facebook’s metaverse could change your life

Twenty-five years ago, the internet was still a novelty accessed through a slow dial-up modem that tied up the landline phone you relied on for communication. Fifteen years ago, Facebook was just opening its social network to anyone 13 and older, and 10 years ago it was still a private tech startup on the verge of an IPO.

Now Facebook is one of the world’s most valuable companies, with three of the biggest social media apps — Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp — used by billions of people, and one of the world’s most controversial and socially disruptive businesses.

Facebook also has a new name, Meta, and a new focus: the metaverse. So, what is the metaverse? Will it be, in 10 years, as important a part of your life as the internet and social media? And if it is, would that be a good thing?

What is the metaverse? The metaverse is an immersive internet experience that lets you replace or augment reality with computerized simulations that strive to be as realistic as possible. “Essentially, it’s a world of endless, interconnected virtual communities where people can meet, work, and play, using virtual reality headsets, augmented reality glasses, smartphone apps, or other devices,” The Associated Press reports. They can also shop.

Meta describes the metaverse as “the next evolution of social connection,” 3D spaces were you can “socialize, learn, collaborate and play in ways that go beyond what we can imagine.” CEO Mark Zuckerberg showed off some examples in his two-hour presentation to unveil the Meta rebrand and Facebook’s new focus, which CNET has sliced down to 10 minutes.


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