1 year ago, Facebook became Meta. Lost bet for Mark Zuckerberg’s metaverse?

A year ago, until today, Facebook, the famous social network group, announced its intention to become Meta. At the time, the name change introduced Mark Zuckerberg’s groundbreaking project to build a 3D virtual world that allowed for immersive social interaction, a concept better known as the Metaverse. 1 year later, it’s time to take stock.

The least we can say is that since the creation of Facebook in 2004 the company has come a long way. From the chambers of the University of Cambridge to the whole world, the social network has marked a new era: that of the web2.

Since the early 2000s, this more permissive Internet has offered users the ability to participate in the web by publishing content in particular through social networks – a significant difference from the previous generation: the web1, constituting the beginnings of the Internet. This is defined by a one-way consulting network, which allows few interactions and is mainly used to read information.

With his Meta project, Mark Zuckerberg wants to be a forerunner of the 3rd generation of the web. Called web3, this concept is presented as the worthy successor to web2. This generation, which appeared after the creation of Bitcoin, designates a more decentralized Internet characterized by the use of the blockchain (technology behind cryptocurrencies and NFTs), but also of the metaverse.

Contraction of “meta” and “universe”, the metaverse aims to modify our online interactions. This project takes the form of an interoperable virtual space in which users can interact and engage in multiple activities (work, games, etc.) in an immersive and realistic environment, a second life 3.0 in short.

It is important to remember that this concept is not owned by the Meta group. In fact, several companies are working on this project, such as Decentraland, The Sandbox and many more …

Fascinated by the idea, in October 2021 Mark Zuckerberg began the transition from Facebook to become a Meta, and thus build the virtual world of tomorrow.

In the logic of introducing the concept to Facebook users, Meta offered its first product: Horizon Worlds.

Available from the end of 2021 in North America, the first digital world created by Meta has been tested by a large number of users. Last August, the metaverse also became available in France and Spain.

After logging in with your Facebook account and setting up your avatar, in Hozion Worlds you can interact socially mainly with the people who populate the digital world. Minigames, virtual sports, evenings, events and even workspaces, various activities are available in this first metaverse.

However, despite the many possibilities, the metaverse does not seem to be unanimous, not even 1 year after its commissioning …

After a few billion invested in the project, Mark Zuckerberg is accountable to investors and users. Many believe that this first version of the metaverse is far from conclusive …

Among the recurring criticisms, we note the lack of immersion linked to the unrealistic graphics and the absence of legs of the avatars …

Legs Meta Avatar

To respond to criticism, Mark Zuckerberg himself announced the arrival of legs in the metaverse shortly, during the virtual Meta conference on October 11.

Beyond these technical adjustments, others still don’t understand Meta’s CEO project. For example, Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, is one of those metaverse skeptics.

“I think it’s always important that people understand what things are. And I’m not really sure if the general public can tell what the metaverse is, ”explains Tim Cook of RTL Nieuws.

This criticism represents a drop in the ocean of the reproaches suffered by Meta with its Metaverse project. Although Horizon Worlds is still in its infancy, the digital world is struggling to win over former Facebook users. Besides their misunderstanding, internet users don’t necessarily have the means to access Horizon Worlds.

In fact, for the moment, the Meta metaverse is only accessible to owners of VR headsets, a method for optimizing the immersive experience of Horizon Worlds visitors.

If the ambition of Horizon Worlds was to attract nearly half a million visitors, the goal has been revised downwards. According to the latest data published by the group, the world of virtual reality now has just 200,000 users.

In short, the Meta project does not find its audience despite the means put in place, and this is reflected in the financial results of the company.

Strategically, the logic looked good. While Facebook was going through a tough time, the network took the metaverse route to bounce back, only it didn’t …

Since the announcement of the project, Meta’s share has fallen by -69% in 1 year. With a price divided by 3, the stock struggles to convince investors. And for good reason, Meta’s earnings are down by $ 4.4 billion in the third quarter of 2022. Also, after the announcement of the quarterly report, the share price is in the throes of a staggering 22% drop. in the last two days. In this anxious environment, the group will limit hiring and budget for next year.

Metacourses

Even more surprisingly, the Metavers project does not fascinate even Meta’s employees.

“Most of us don’t spend a lot of time on Horizon,” said Vishal Shah, Meta’s vice president for the metaverse.

These elements unfortunately testify to the lack of interest in the group’s project. So, after 1 year, the observation is bitter … It is clear that most users do not seem satisfied with this step for the many reasons mentioned above. One question remains: is it the concept of metaverse itself that poses a problem, or is it appropriated by Meta? In fact, if the metaverse is part of a web3 logic, the fact that it belongs to Facebook breaks the decentralization project of this new Internet.

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