Mark Zuckerberg Now Believes In An Open, Interoperable Metaverse.

Not fully embracing all web3 

Zuckerberg’s Enthusiasm

Mark Zuckerberg has stated that the metaverse would be better when it is open and interoperable but stopped short of fully accepting all that web3 technologies have to offer.

The Meta company was once known as Facebook and has since changed its name unveiling a plan to build a future immersive internet. Since the change, the company has seen its stock price fall by 60%. The company has stalled and the interest in the metaverse has currently cooled.

Even with all the negative response to the metaverse and the loss of money Zuckerberg remains laser-focused on his plans for the future, fixated on the vision he has for the company and the metaverse offering as a whole. The leader of Meta took the stage of the Meta Connect conference keynote to speak on the advancements of the project and introduce his new, extremely expensive, headset.

Walled Garden

Many developers of web3 have been a bit wary of Meta as they believed the company would create another closed ecosystem just like Facebook. The company has stated that is far from the truth as it has gradually shifted its ideas to suggest a better approach to the problem. Zuckerberg took a firm stance in his dealing with how the metaverse and meta will work.  

Zuckerberg spent a lot of time during the conference talking about the history and difference of a closed ecosystem vs an open one noting that closed ecosystems “focus on tight control and integration”  thus taking possession of most of the value created on the platform. Zuckerberg stated that Meta has a different approach when it comes to the company’s plans or the metaverse.

“I strongly believe that an open, interoperable metaverse built by many different developers and companies is going to be better for everyone”

Zuckerberg did not state his company would be using blockchain technology, nor did he infer any use of NFTs or cryptocurrency but he did mean that his company won’t be the only one building a metaverse for the masses. He did speak on interoperability for avatar customization which could simply be translated as apparel and accessories being carried over from platform to platform and freely used with other avatars of other metaverses. It should be noted that Meta has allowed for NFTs to be implemented on Instagram and Facebook and users have the ability to showcase those NFTs as profile pictures but there have not been any real plans to fully embrace the NFT ecosystem of today.

A Threat

Some have seen Meta as a threat to an interoperable metaverse, this is a sentiment held by many especially given the tumultuous past of Facebook. The co-founder of Sky Mavis Jeff “Jiho” Zirlin stated that developers are “definitely in a battle for the future of the internet.” When speaking about his feelings towards Meta and Tencent with respect to the metaverse he had this to say 

“They’re going to try to squash this beautiful thing that we built because it threatens them—it threatens their business model, their way of life, and their philosophy,” he continued. “We are going to see this battle between grassroots internet communities and the large corporations that are trying to basically buy the soul of the internet.”

Though Zuckerberg seems to have a new outlook on the future many are still taking it as lip service as the leader has yet to fully state plans for building directly with other web3 creators and completely embracing open-source tech.

The Future

Mark Zuckerberg introduced the advances made by the company via a showing of the more powerful Meta Quest Pro which is more than 3x the asking price of the current VR headset Meta Quest 2. The headset is set to deliver more graphical fidelity and clarity as well as more powerful VR experiences. The Device is not only VR but AR as well and will provide digital content overlays on a user’s view of the real world via sharper external cameras. 

Alongside this hardware, Zuckerberg announced a developing software infrastructure that will build a unified online 3D platform for work, play, socializing, shopping, and more. Horizon Worlds will be expanded to the web and users will be able to join via a computer or touch device. This news comes after other reports that state the platform is far from fun or finished, with rumors circulating that even the employees of Meta don’t partake in the platform.

There were other major announcements during the keynote, some about partnerships with other major tech companies such as Microsoft. Zuckerberg clearly has plans for the metaverse and while others are still offering pushback against his company’s endeavors the CEO is laser-focused on building. There were more promises made such as 3D avatars built from smartphone scans and interfaces and control systems built around finger movements which are still in their prototype stage. 

There were many metaverse projects on the horizon and to be successful a project would need to be open, decentralized, interoperable, and enjoyable. Perhaps the future of Meta could be completely different from the present days of Facebook.

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