Meta, the former Facebook, changed its name for several reasons. The one that has nothing to do with Facebook taking loads of flack was the whole metaverse idea. The social network hopes to position itself at the front of a future it is intent on creating.
And, according to the social network, that future is nigh. As opposed to Nye, which is something completely different. Speaking to advertising agencies about the platform, Meta claimed that mixed reality — which combines the real and digital worlds — will become a serious thing for consumers in the next few years.
In Meta’s interests
It is suitably vague enough that, although Reuters spoke to an anonymous person who attended a presentation, it doesn’t nail Meta down to any sort of timeline. The company made its predictions last week during a Zoom call with ad agencies. The purpose of the call was to familiarise potential advertisers with the metaverse that Zuckerberg’s company is so keen to punt. The implication, obviously, is that ad agencies should be ready to spend money in these mixed reality environments. Because we’re all going to be so thrilled with ads following us basically everywhere.
Of course, there are still a few obstacles to this. There’s user uptake, which might be speedy at the moment but has a solid chance of hitting a brick wall. Meta also has to convince the greater population that mixed reality and the metaverse is a great idea, something the company is currently losing money doing.
And then there’s the hardware factor. It’s one thing to promote experiences for virtual reality headsets, it’s something else entirely to get mixed reality to work. Microsoft’s Hololens has only seen industrial applications so far, due to its price. Google’s first crack at Glass failed, but it might be taking another shot at it. Apple is rumoured to have an augmented reality headset in the works, and doubtless, Meta is also working on similar hardware. Even so, it’s hard to justify the confidence the social media platform has in mixed reality’s timeline.
Meta, when queried about the meeting, declined to comment.