Facebook said on 28th October it was changing its corporate name to Meta.
Facebook’s new corporate name is Meta, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced on Thursday at Oculus Connect Event, in an apparent effort to recast the company’s public image from battered social network to tech innovator focused on building the next generation of online interaction, in other words, the “metaverse.” The 70-minute event was curated around the new roadmap of Facebook.
“It is time for us to adopt a new company brand to encompass everything that we do. From now on, we’re going to be metaverse first, not Facebook first.”Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta
Zuckerberg repeatedly mentioned that this shift of scope of the company serves one main purpose: building technology so people can interact with each other. But this interaction will be nothing like we know of or imagine today. Mark Zuckerberg plans to upgrade today’s connectedness to another level: where individuals socialize or worked in an immersive space such as metaverse.
This past two weeks everyone has heard about the metaverse, some not having any clue about it. To briefly explain, metaverse refers to the convergence of physical, augmented, and virtual reality in a shared online space. It’s a VR and AR-ready ecosystem bringing people into some sort of a virtual universe where they can meet to work together, throw parties, hang out, go to concerts, and do many other social activities we do in the real world. The metaverse is not only intended for informal occasions, but companies can also leverage it to enhance their remote working experience and this will be available by just putting on a pair of glasses and stepping into another realm. The rest is a brand new experience in the metaverse with your avatars, friends, and coworkers.
“Built in our DNA, we are a company that builds technology to connect people. And the metaverse is the next frontier.”Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta
This move was mostly associated with Facebook trying to distract the media from its biggest scandal in years over damning internal documents leaked by a whistleblower, as well as mounting antitrust scrutiny from lawmakers and regulators. But while experts previously told Insider that the metaverse emphasis was a “genius” marketing move, the company isn’t free from the problems that have caused such widespread public backlash, and experts the name change wouldn’t be enough to save it from the criticism.
However, metaverse was the direction Mark Zuckerberg wanted Facebook to move towards, as he publicly announced in July 2021. He justifies this big transition in an effort to capture the attention of newer generations aged between 18 to 29 by becoming the company that introduced them to the metaverse while keeping their core Whatsapp, Instagram, and Facebook users from older ages. Zuckerberg told investors on Monday that he’s reorienting the company around appealing to young adults ages 18 to 29, rather than the older crowd that has become its core.
“Now we have a new north star to help bring the metaverse to life. From now on, we’re going to be metaverse first, not Facebook first” he said to distinguish the new purpose of Meta explicitly.
Meta, as its name suggests, will be one of the leader companies in building the metaverse and Mark Zuckerberg expresses that it will be the inevitable future of social networks with these words: “It’s a future that is beyond anyone company that will be made by all of us.”
Microsoft announced on November 2nd that from the first half of 2022, Mesh will be unveiled on Microsoft Teams.
The feature combines the mixed-reality capabilities of Microsoft Mesh, which allows people in different physical locations to join collaborative and shared holographic experiences, with the productivity tools of Microsoft Teams, where people can join virtual meetings, send chats, collaborate on shared documents and more.
Mesh for Teams – which anyone will be able to access from standard smartphones and laptops to mixed-reality headsets – is designed to make online meetings more personal, engaging, and fun. It’s also a gateway to the metaverse.
“As a company whose focus is on productivity, on knowledge workers, it’s something that customers are really asking us for, and it’s coupled with the vision of mixed reality that we’ve been working on for 12 years. It’s all coming together.”Alex Kipman, Microsoft Technical Fellow for AI and Mixed Reality
First use cases of Mesh for Teams were implemented within Accenture. Accenture can now organize office meetings, onboardings, collaborative workspaces, and many more physical office interactions through Mesh. Before the pandemic, for example, Accenture built a virtual campus where employees from anywhere could gather for coffees, presentations, parties, and other events.
“An immersive space within a team’s channel on Microsoft Teams could serve to reinforce cohesion and common purpose. For example, a product design team within Microsoft might create an immersive space for its daily standup meeting. On one virtual wall might be customer pictures to keep the team grounded, while a whiteboard on another wall displays color-coded tasks. Product prototypes could be displayed on a table.”Jason Warnke, Senior Managing Director and Global Digital Experiences Lead of Accenture
Just like Meta’s Horizon platforms, in Microsoft Mesh, users will be able to create their avatars to represent themselves in the metaverse. There’s a common thing among employees which’s called meeting fatigue. It’s an expression referring to tiredness caused by having hours of team meetings with the webcam on. Microsoft Mesh is capable of eliminating this concept by enabling employees to show up to meetings in their 2D or 3D avatars if they’re not feeling like turning your webcam on. The ease of use is that employees won’t need to put on a VR headset to use this feature. Microsoft will use AI to listen to your voice and then animate your avatar so users can feel each others’ presence as if they were physically in the same place.
The immersive spaces are really where Microsoft sees this Mesh integration as being the most useful, particularly in its efforts to build a metaverse for businesses. Microsoft envisions virtual spaces inside Teams where people can network and socialize with games or even use Microsoft apps to collaborate on projects.
Each and every day another tech company is announcing their upcoming work on the metaverse. Although we are mostly exposed to news releases of two giants, Microsoft and Facebook, there are many others investing their expertise in this field. We all are waiting for who is going to make the next big move, what new products will be launched, and who will be the most influential names driving the metaverse forward. As Mark Zuckerberg mentioned, this future will be built by all of us, which is the strongest indication that the metaverse will become a part of our lives day by day. If you would like to take the first steps towards carrying your business forward with AR-ready 3D models you can contact us and learn more about our metaverse solutions for businesses.