E-Commerce & WebAR

The metaverse is coming – So what’s next?

May 14, 2022

Facebook has recently followed Google’s steps and created a new holding company to restructure its businesses under the new brand Meta. The name symbolises Facebook’s firm belief that ‘virtual reality’ is the next frontier for the social media network to conquer.A boasting Mark Zuckerberg eagerly demonstrated the experiences virtual worlds can bring to private and workplace experiences (if you missed Mark’s virtual presentation, you can check it out below).

Whether users welcome this new virtual world with the same degree of alacrity remains to be seen. Facebook, aka Meta, will have to succeed in essentially creating culture and changing lifestyles in the same way that Apple or Tesla have.

We have summarised some of the most relevant articles on the Metaverse below:

  • The Verge: Mark in the Metaverse
    In this article, The Verge recaps Facebook’s plans and details their interview with Mark Zuckerberg to understand his ambitions to build the Metaverse.
  • The Guardian: Metaverse, Mars, meditation retreats: billionaires want to escape the world they ruined
    This critical piece points out that the most powerful individuals should focus on improving life on earth – and in reality, rather than exploring space, or creating virtual worlds to escape it.
  • Jacobin: Mark Zuckerberg’s “Metaverse” is a Dystopian Nightmare
    Ryan Zickgraf pursues a similar angle. In his much-noticed opinion piece for Jacobin he echoes The Guardian’s concerns.
  • Business Insider: It’s not just Facebook — China’s big tech firms like Alibaba and Tencent are also piling into the Metaverse
    Chinese tech firms have paid close attention to Facebook’s move. China’s Tencent, ByteDance, and Alibaba are reportedly preparing their own ventures into the Metaverse. Tencent by re-focusing its subsidiary TiMi Studios on virtual realities.
  • CNN: What Zuckerberg’s Metaverse means to our humanity
    CNN’s Douglas Rushkoff took a somewhat sarcastic view on Facebook’s announcement. He joins the chorus of Metaverse skeptics, writing: “When I clicked on the link to Zuckerberg’s video announcement, I thought it was a joke at first, maybe a “deep fake.””
  • Coindesk.com: Metaverse Backer Animoca Brands Raises $65M at $2.2B Valuation
    Facebook’s strategic shift to the Metaverse is also affecting other players in the sector. In October 2021, Hong Kong startup Animoca Brands raised an additional $65M increasing its valuation to $2.2B.

While the consensus of these articles is clear and overwhelmingly skeptical of Facebook’s latest move, we must not forget that groundbreaking innovation is often initially challenged. Whether the Metaverse will change our lives as profoundly as social media did when first launched remains to be seen. Whether Facebook will be able to spearhead, guide, and ultimately own the Metaverse is probably even less likely. However, what Facebook has accomplished is to shine a bright spotlight on the potential that augmented and virtual reality solutions can bring to everyday life and business applications.

In the light of COVID-19 travel restrictions, companies have long started re-evaluating past choices. At Impala Services, we believe that virtual solutions can be applied in a meaningful way to present-day business issues. Such solutions could involve turning traditional product photo shootings into virtual CGI photography or streamlining product sourcing efforts by virtually connecting merchandising and procurement teams with factories and vendors located hundreds of thousands of miles away.