If you woke up one day to find that Instagram had changed its name to Neo or that TikTok had changed its name to Hypo, it’d feel like you had woken up in a parallel universe.
But changing the name of your hugely successful and widely used social media company to a Greek prefix seems to be all the rage these days.
Believe it or not, Facebook, the parent company of the platform Facebook that people under 65 no longer use, is changing its name to Meta.
Confused? Read this.
The major rebrand is all part of founder Mark Zuckerberg’s plans to build a “metaverse”, which sounds a lot more complex than it is.
So, what is this metaverse, and how will it affect us?
A Virtual World
Zuckerberg, who has yet to convince us that he was born on Earth, believes that the metaverse could be the future of the internet.
Simply put, the metaverse is a virtual world where people can communicate, work, game, and even shop, presumably by using Virtual Reality (VR) headsets.
You’ll take the form of a 3D avatar in this virtual reality, where you can interact with other 3D avatars.
And it won’t just be a place to game and work; some people believe you’ll also be able to attend “live” concerts or even catch a cinema at the theatre in this virtual world.
Think of it as real life, but much sadder than that.
The term “metaverse’ was actually coined way back in the 90s by sci-fi author Neal Stephenson in his novel Snow Crash.
In the book, the protagonist is a hacker and a pizza delivery driver for the mafia who lives in a “computer-generated universe” known as the Metaverse.
You can expect sales for this novel to spike in the next six months.
It’s Not Just Facebook That’s Interested
Many companies see the metaverse as the future of the internet, it’s just that Facebook is banking heavily on it.
According to The Guardian, Facebook is spending a billion a year on developing the metaverse, as it’s prioritising the development of this virtual world.
But Microsoft, Nvidia, and even video game companies like Epic Games (creator of Fortnite) are also reportedly keen on the idea.
While it’s still in its early stages, the fact that Facebook is going all out on it and changing its name to Meta shows you how much confidence they have in the project.
If it succeeds, you could one day attend an important meeting at work in this virtual reality while lying in bed in your underwear. You won’t really have to interact with anyone, you could keep buying virtual clothes to impress no one, and you’d eventually lose touch with reality.
Now, isn’t that the type of world we all want to live in?
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