What is a Facebook Metaverse? Facebook’s recently announced Spaces virtual reality app has many people wondering what this means for the future of social media, especially Facebook’s place in it. In fact, some experts have even called Facebook the new Microsoft, in that it may have failed to foresee the direction that digital and mobile technology would take the world in its current form. This, they argue, could mean that Facebook will soon be replaced by other platforms and apps, such as Snapchat and Twitter, or even by new developments like virtual reality—or as some call it, the Facebook metaverse.
How it started
Virtual reality (VR) has always been a part of science fiction. While we can’t replicate every aspect of VR—not yet, at least—we have arrived at some sort of immersive interface that feels not too dissimilar from stepping into another world. One key innovation to realize immersive interfaces was Second Life, an early virtual reality experience that felt more like a primitive form of social media than a game. This avatar-based experience allows users to create digital identities and interact with other people in cyberspace. Think video games, but you’re playing against real people (and are sometimes even interacting with them offline). A decade later, Second Life still exists and continues to grow thanks to its unique use cases: identity management and meeting new people online.
What it means for businesses
The way we’re interacting online is changing, and Facebook are well aware of that. The development of their facial recognition software demonstrates that they’re doing everything in their power to keep people coming back to their platform as often as possible. These new technological developments will present brand owners with an important question: how can I use these features to engage my audience and increase my reach? In other words, how can I take advantage of what Facebook are offering and make sure it benefits me rather than hinders me? This is not an easy task, but it does point towards an exciting future for businesses. Instead of just relying on video or photos to get your message across, why not dive into virtual reality head first?
How to set up your own
Setting up your own virtual world can be a lot of fun, but you’ll have to do some planning. First, you need to decide if you want your metaverse to be tied into an existing site or stand on its own. In other words, should people access it from inside your website or outside? Both choices have their pros and cons. If you’re looking for ways to get traffic to specific pages on your site and increase brand awareness, consider starting off with an extensible platform like JanusVR. On the other hand, being tied into an existing community might help spur further development as others who use your world continue to build out different areas of it.