Meta Platforms (formerly Facebook) bets big on metaverse with $10 billion investment
In a move that in some ways resembles Google’s big corporate re-brand to ‘Alphabet’ in 2015, yesterday, Facebook announced yesterday that it has changed its corporate name to Meta. The social giant unveiled the new identity 17 years after its inception. The announcement came after multiple reports that the company was rebranding to Metaverse. Instead, Facebook decided to go for Meta, now officially known as Meta Platforms.
The term “metaverse,” was originally coined in the 1992 dystopian novel “Snow Crash.” It’s used to describe immersive, shared spaces accessed across different platforms where the physical and digital converge. It is a virtual reality version of the internet that Facebook sees as the future.
Speaking at a virtual event to showcase Facebook’s technological bets of the future, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said, “Today we are seen as a social media company, but in our DNA we are a company that builds technology to connect people, and the metaverse is the next frontier just like social networking was when we got started.”
During the event, Zuckerberg said the new name reflects the company’s work invested in the metaverse, rather than its namesake social media service. He added that the world’s largest social network will continue to be called Facebook.
“The next platform will be even more immersive — an embodied internet where you’re in the experience, not just looking at it. We call this the metaverse, and it will touch every product we build,” Zuckerberg said.
As part of the effort to bring the metaverse to life as it seeks to build a digital universe of creators, goods, and commerce, Zuckerberg also revealed that the company plans to spend $10 billion to transition from its much-criticized social network and related family of apps and into what Zuckerberg describes as an “embodied internet.”
Just last week, Facebook announced the company plans to hire 10,000 people in the European Union to build a “metaverse.” Zuckerberg added that metaverse is a major investment for the company and plays a vital role for the company going forward.
“This is a major area of investment for us and an important part of our strategy going forward,” Zuckerberg said in an earnings call with investors on Monday, adding it would hire 10,000 people in Europe over the next five years to help create it.”
Just like the beginning of the original internet, Zuckerberg added that building the metaverse will require collaborative efforts from companies, creators, developers, and not just Meta. Zuckerberg explains:
“The metaverse will not be created by one company. It will be built by creators and developers making new experiences and digital items that are interoperable and unlock a massively larger creative economy than the one constrained by today’s platforms and their policies.”
He went on to explain that the next metaverse platform will be more immersive. Zuckerberg further describes the metaverse as “an embodied internet where you’re in the experience, not just looking at it. We call this the metaverse, and it will touch every product we build.”
Going forward, Zuckerberg said he plans to dedicate all his energy to the metaverse, “I’m dedicating our energy to this — more than any other company in the world,” he concluded.
Below is a video of Zuckerberg explaining metaverse and why his company change its name.