Does anyone else feel like Meta may have gone a little early with its whole ‘metaverse’ push?
I mean, it is investing billions of dollars into its next level projects, and it would have had to explain that expenditure to the market at some stage. But with everything that we’re seeing, and hearing in the space, it seems like Meta may have jumped the gun, with the actual metaverse, as envisioned, still a long way off being a reality, in any functional sense.
Which now puts Meta in a difficult spot – do you release half-formed metaverse concepts, with a proviso attached to each explaining that there’s more to come, or do you keep as much as you can in-house, till it’s really ready to blow people away?
Ideally, you would go with the latter – but again, when you tell investors that you’re pumping $10 billion into any project, they’re gonna’ want to see results, and sooner, rather than later.
Which is why Meta is now publishing new explainers and overviews, which aim to put more focus on where we’re headed, and the opportunities of advanced digital connection – as opposed to the current, legless genie engagement of its VR space.
As you can see in this new promo campaign, Meta’s looking to highlight the expanded potential of the metaverse, beyond its current developmental phase.
As per Meta:
“We want people to envision that, in addition to areas like gaming and entertainment, the metaverse has tangible potential on healthcare, education and skills training.”
Which, again, is a long way off, but Meta’s trying to re-focus people onto the bigger picture of its strategy, as opposed to the somewhat underwhelming, cartoonish landscapes that will form the basis for the next stage of development.
Meta’s also shared another new video clip, which shows how the metaverse will facilitate entirely new types of digital experiences.
Meta says that it’s ‘unlocking’ new possibilities, which is where the true, eventual
value of the metaverse lies.
“Meta is building technology that brings people closer – breaking down the barriers that limit what we can do together by letting people feel like they’re right there with another person or in another place.”
Which is all well and good, but if you’re going to present these as concepts, you need to also provide a timeline, or concrete examples of exactly how this type of interaction will actually work (note: you can go fishing with friends in VR right now, but it doesn’t look quite this realistic).
Which brings me back to the original question – is Meta pushing too hard, too soon on a concept that’s so far from actual reality that it will only really serve profiteers, while continually frustrating users and investors alike?
Definitely, the profiteers are happy. I’ve seen a heap of promotions looking to scare businesses into making big tech investments, in order to ‘prepare for the metaverse’ right now, while a number of metaverse explainer books are already on shelves – despite the actual metaverse being only a concept at this stage.
‘Yeah, but Meta’s isn’t the only metaverse.’
Yes it is – in any functional, scalable, valuable sense, the only metaverse that will actually matter is the one that Meta is developing, whether it ends up being the owner of the space, or it partners with others on its creation. The metaverse is a singular noun in this respect, it’s ‘the’ metaverse, not ‘a’ metaverse among many others.
We can understand the principles and key concepts based on existing examples, for sure, but no one is a metaverse expert at this stage.
Because it doesn’t exist, and while Meta has made it a thing, by changing its corporate name to ‘Meta’, it’s still such a long way from fruition that it’s going to continue confounding most for some time, which probably isn’t good for Meta overall.
Which is why it’s now working to shift our focus onto the horizon, onto that far off destination way out yonder, where the metaverse and full VR realization is a working, functional thing.
It looks good, right? Sure does, and hopefully, Meta’s shareholders will keep that in mind as it continues to shovel money into its various related projects.