- Facebook will invest $50 million on metaverse-related activities and partnerships over the next two years.
- The term “metaverse” refers to shared online areas that may be utilized for social interactions, work, gaming, and other activities.
- Facebook’s release blog refers to the metaverse as the “next computing platform,” and the corporation claims it will be built in collaboration with politicians, researchers, and industry partners.
- According to Facebook, the fund’s objective is to ensure that its section of the metaverse is built with interoperability with other services in mind, as well as diversity, privacy, safety, and “economic opportunity.”
Facebook has created a $50 million fund to help it build the metaverse in a more responsible manner. The XR Programs and Research Fund will be invested in “programs and external research” over the course of two years, according to the firm.
Previously, Facebook supported university studies into the societal impact of AR wearables and requested VR hardware solutions. Facebook’s release blog refers to the metaverse as the “next computing platform,” and the corporation claims it will be built in collaboration with politicians, researchers, and industry partners.
The statement also includes Facebook’s description of the frequently enigmatic term “metaverse.” It is described by the firm as “virtual places where you may create and explore with other people who are not physically present,” and it is distributed over a number of products and services.
According to Facebook, the fund’s objective is to ensure that its section of the metaverse is built with interoperability with other services in mind, as well as diversity, privacy, safety, and “economic opportunity.” Right now, Facebook’s most prominent metaverse program is Horizon, a platform that exists as a test Oculus software that allows users to have virtual reality meetings.
Only provide cash
According to the firm, it will collaborate with groups such as Women in Immersive Tech, Africa No Filter, Electric South, and the Organization of American States. It also states that it will “facilitate independent external research” with institutions such as the University of Hong Kong and the National University of Singapore. The firm stated that it will only provide cash to the researchers and not data.
The Organization of American States, Women in Immersive Tech, and African groups Electric South, Africa No Filter, and Imisi3D are among Facebook’s early collaborators in the $50 million program. On these initiatives, the business will also engage with experts from Seoul National University, The University of Hong Kong, and the National University of Singapore.
Regardless of how these early initiatives develop, Facebook has previously stated that it does not aim to construct or manage the ultimate metaverse on its own. And this is most likely just the start of a protracted process.
Facebook VP Nick Clegg also commented on the effort, calling it a “start” to study into the metaverse and expressing hope that it will assist offer answers when regulators begin to raise questions about the new technology. Recently, Facebook has attempted to portray itself as a responsible platform owner. It stated on Monday that it was halting development on a pre-teen-focused Instagram after aggressively denying a story that suggested the firm knew Instagram was detrimental for adolescent females.
The business has also stated that it is becoming more upfront about the sorts of postings that its algorithms attempt to hide, and it has denied another claim that the corporation attempted to promote itself via the News Feed. Despite its efforts, it has remained embroiled in controversy: it was forced to apologize to academics after supplying them with incorrect data, and its oversight board has requested additional information about how the site regulated its prominent users differently.
While Facebook promotes this fund as metaverse-focused, given its name, it looks to have a broader emphasis. The business already conducts extensive research in the AR/VR area, and while $50 million is a significant sum, it represents a very small percentage of what Facebook earns in a single quarter (never mind the two years over which the fund will be invested). The sum also does not appear to correspond to the significance Facebook placed on AR/VR and the metaverse’s future effect.
Facebook said it will continue to provide updates on the program’s success, as well as potential partners when they become available.
What is Facebook’s metaverse?
It’s a word we hear a lot in the crypto business, especially as decentralized initiatives aim to build future online worlds and experiences free of the monitoring and control of centralized corporations like Facebook.
The metaverse, in essence, refers to shared online places in which users—represented by 3D avatars—coexist and interact with one another. It has previously been shown in films like “Snow Crash” and “Ready Player One,” and Ethereum-based metaverse worlds like Decentraland (pictured above) and CryptoVoxels already exist. Another notable example is the upcoming game The Sandbox.
Along with enabling new social and gaming experiences, proponents of the metaverse think it will also assist to transform the nature of employment and provide new digital economic opportunities to people all around the world. In some ways, it’s comparable to how DAOs, or decentralized autonomous organizations, are being developed to disrupt traditional businesses.
Facebook has highlighted the following important areas in which they are striving to properly create the Metaverse:
- Economic opportunity: Give individuals more options, foster competition, and keep the digital economy growing.
- Privacy: Reduce the quantity of data utilized, develop technology to allow for privacy-protective data uses, and provide individuals with transparency and control over their data.
- Integrity and safety: Keep people safe online and offer them the tools they need to take action or seek help if they see anything they don’t like.
- Equity and inclusion: Ensure those metaverse technologies are intended to be inclusive and accessible.