Mark Zuckerberg reckons the metaverse could be the next big thing.
In what sounds like a very Ready Player One augmented reality type situation, the metaverse is expected to be the next era of digital connectivity through virtual reality experiences and e-commerce opportunities.
Zuckerberg told CNBC that his goal is to have one billion users spending time and money within the digital space.
“We hope to basically get around a billion people in the metaverse doing hundreds of dollars of commerce, each buying digital goods, digital content, different things to express themselves, so whether that’s clothing for their avatar or different digital goods for their virtual home or things to decorate their virtual conference room, utilities to be able to be more productive in virtual and augmented reality and across the metaverse overall, “he told CNBC’s Jim Cramer.
Meta – formerly known as Facebook – has spent the big bucks on ushering in the new era of digital living.
Back in 2014, Facebook forked out $ 2 billion ($ AUD 2.8b, £ 1.1b) to take control of virtual reality headset maker Oculus VR, according to Forbes.
Although Oculus has failed to catch on, Zuckerberg told CNBC the latest version of virtual reality headsets are ‘a hit’.
The latest VR headsets are Meta Quest 2, which starts at $ 299 ($ AUD 433, £ 168) as per the Meta site.
“I’ve been really happy with how that’s gone. It has exceeded my expectations,” Zuckerberg said.
“But I still think it’s going to take a while for it to get to the scale of several hundreds of millions or even billions of people in the metaverse, just because things take some time to get there.
“So that’s the north star. I think we will get there. But, you know, the other services that we run are at a somewhat larger scale already today.”
For those still grappling with the ‘metaverse’ term, Wired has done a damn fine job of breaking it down.
“Broadly speaking, the technologies companies refer to when they talk about ‘the metaverse’ can include virtual reality – characterized by persistent virtual worlds that continue to exist even when you’re not playing – as well as augmented reality that combines aspects of the digital and physical worlds, “Wired’s Eric Ravenscraft wrote.
So, experiences in the metaverse could therefore be more immersive than text, photos or videos, which are currently the bedrock of Meta’s Facebook and Instagram platforms.
The move to virtual reality will be a major theme for Meta over the next decade, Zuckerberg told CNBC.
So, are you ready, Player One?