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Zuck's going meta👨💻
#113 | The big Facebook rebrand
Welcome to Wisdom Letter #113
So Mark Zuckerberg rebranded his company to “Meta” this week.
Facebook will still be Facebook.
But it will only be an app in the “family of apps”.
The company will now be called Meta.
Today, let’s talk about Facebook and what this rebrand means for all of us.
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The Facebook Metaverse
So I watched the Facebook Connect Presentation that its founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg released this week.
Yes, I watched the whole 77 minutes and 26 seconds of it.
So you don’t have to😅
It was more than a product update, it was a company update.
FB is doubling down on the idea of the Metaverse and wants to be known as a metaverse company going forward.
But what the heck is the metaverse?
This snapshot from the video captures it pretty well -
It’s essentially virtual reality(VR) experiences designed to be an as close approximation of the real world as possible.
Zuck calls it the “embodied internet”.
So all of us wear headsets to enter the metaverse, once inside, we are represented by our avatars.
We can have spaces such as home and office.
And we can “teleport” to different spaces by just thinking about it. Going from one space to another will be as simple as sharing a link with a friend.
To accompany the VR experience there is an AR experience as well.
Augmented Reality means a layer of digital content on top of the real life. Remember the hit game pokemon go? That was an AR game. Refresh your memory with this video.
Because we can’t be wearing headsets all the time, we can wear AR glasses or use our phones to stay connected with the metaverse.
Sounds a bit creepy, but let’s see where it goes.
Meta partnered with Ray-Ban to build special AR glasses.
So there’s a camera and an augmented screen on your sunglasses.
Looks cool in the video -
Smart move collaborating with Ray-Ban on this. Google tried to build the same thing by itself and failed miserably.
Hits and Misses
We’ve hated on Facebook for years now because their business model is built around harvesting people’s attention.
Which is not healthy for us as a society.
So there is a ton that I don’t like about where FB is going with this, but there are still positives that can come out of this.
And it would be unfair to disregard everything that Zuck and team are doing. Let’s look at the hits before we look at the misses.
The Hits -
This can be a game-changer for people with disabilities.
Most knowledge work can be done from anywhere, so I agree with Zuck, if a VR “office space” can save even 1 flight every year, it would be great for the environment.
This will be awesome for games. The thought of Grand Theft Auto in VR makes me want to buy a headset right away!
I respect the research that they are doing. It’s obvious that they have spent years into a vision, and are making good progress towards it.
And I respect the modesty of admitting that they don’t know everything. This is a new technology in a very early stage, and it’s good for them to admit that.
The Misses -
This is not “the new internet”. The internet is an open protocol, it’s not owned or promoted by a single company. As long as the Meta (or Facebook) team is building it, the metaverse will be a product, not a protocol. And to imply otherwise is to mislead people.
It’s still funded by ads, so they are still harvesting people’s attention, which is not cool. I mean, really not cool. C’mon Zuck!
We don’t know the psychological impact of spending hours in a virtual world yet. Our 2D screens are already causing psychological disorders, the 3D worlds can be so much worse.
There’s a lot of talk about “connecting people”. While in reality, the best form of connection is real face-to-face connection. And it always will be. No form of artificial layers can replace that.
They want to give people more choice🙄 -
I respect the technological feat that ‘Meta’ is trying to achieve, but overall, it just feels a bit creepy. A lot like a Black Mirror episode.
Well, this one -
And this one -
And the funniest moment was when Mark Zuckerberg moved on from talking about fitness and games and said “let’s talk about everyone’s favorite topic - Work”
I mean, seriously!
Anyways, that’s it for now, we will keep a close eye on how Meta grows over the years.
We like it or not, these developments will have serious implications on society. And that’s why it’s worth it to explore them deeper.
Of course, folks on Twitter had a field day making fun of poor old Zuck.
Before we get into the memes, this thread is quite educational -
Some interesting Tweets -
And now some memes -
Well, sometimes it’s fun to scroll through a few memes, isn’t it🤣
Wisdom Letter #54 -
📂 From the archives
This week, that year -
Thank you for reading🙏
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