Facebook becomes Meta: A vision for the Metaverse

Written by Juliette Maumelat

November 10, 2021

You may have seen it first in science fiction movies like Ready Player One or Matrix, but today the Metaverse fictional universe is becoming a reality.

Facebook becomes Meta

On October 28th during the Facebook Connect 2021 event, Mark Zuckerberg dropped one of the biggest news of the year concerning the social media landscape. Facebook is rebranding its corporate name to Meta to reflect its focus on building the metaverse. Its family of apps like Instagram and WhatsApp, however, will keep their name.

The group founded by Mark Zuckerberg wants to put forward its investments to contribute to the advent of a 3D virtual world, called the metaverse. For the CEO, the most important thing is obviously to “connect people” while building a new internet era.

Changing name is also a way for the company to rejuvenate its image as Facebook is seen as an old social network that has a reputation as being mostly for older users without the necessary reach among the young folks who may one day populate the metaverse. In other words, it’s a way for the GAFAM to differentiate Facebook from the rest of its business.

“My hope, if we do this well, I think over the next five years or so, in this next chapter of our company, I think we will effectively transition from people seeing us as primarily being a social media company to being a metaverse company.” Mark Zuckerberg

The firm intends to invest 10 billion dollars in the coming year in collective 3D virtual worlds. And it has announced that it wants to recruit 10,000 people in Europe over the next five years to work on metaverse. According to Mark Zuckerberg and other company executives, it will take around 10 years before the metaverse materializes.

What is exactly Metaverse?

“Meta” comes from Greek and means “after, beyond”. “Verse” is the translation of “world, universe”. The metaverse would be “beyond the universe”, the universe we know, the present. The notion was intellectualized by science fiction author Neal Stephenson in 1992 in his novel Snow Crash.

The metaverse is a collective immersive digital space, a fictional world, accessible through connected glasses, in which users interact as avatars or holograms. For instance, it will be possible to interact with your boss from your living room, while being in a virtual meeting room or to go to a festival with your favourite’s influencers.

The metaverse is already very popular among social media users. The keywords “metaverse” has more than 677,000 results on Google. Most young people spend 8 to 10 hours on their phone already living with Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok and soon will be able to be literally inside of these platforms.

Impact of Metaverse on marketing & influencer marketing

The metaverse is a new world ready to be explored! Marketers will likely see no immediate change to how the company operates its advertising business but it will give a whole new range of opportunities for the future of their business models and branding possibilities.

Indeed, one of the most interesting and high-potential fields of the new metaverse world is marketing and digital creator marketing. Thanks to this new space, much more precise and valuable data will be available for advertisers than ever before. The Metaverse offers influencers a new aspect of interaction and communication, not only with their followers but also with their peers. For instance, food influencers will be able to cook together but for that, they will first need to think about creating their avatars to work with brands in the Metaverse.

Some companies are already thinking of dressing our future virtual avatars. For instance, Nike has just filed seven patents for its future collections in the metaverse. There is also, Balenciaga which has already signed a collaboration last September to display its collections in the famous video game Fortnite.

Today we don’t ask ourselves anymore if the Metaverse is coming or not. The question now is to know WHEN, and whether or not you are prepared as a brand to be a part of this new internet era!