The concept of the metaverse is flexible, with companies, individuals and dreamers coming up with differing exact formulations of the idea. Still, we need somewhere to meet, so after reading a host of shots at this particular goal, I think it’s fair to say that the metaverse is a connected digital environment that is inherently social and based around individual identity.
Digging into that definition, the metaverse will be connected in that it’s online and likely dynamic, digital in that it is purely synthetic, inherently social in that it revolves more around human-to-human interaction than solo activities, and based around individual identity as it seems generally agreed that folks are going to have some form of self in the mix. Avatars, NFTs, pick your poison.
Facebook parent company Meta is all-in on the concept, with new hardware and software for the metaverse costing the social networking giant a mint. You can understand why Meta wants to win the metaverse, with its core apps seemingly late in their maturity cycles and younger, more nimble foes in the social space doing to Facebook what Facebook did to a prior generation of consumer networking applications.
Meta needs to win the next cycle to maintain its growth, especially in light of privacy changes on iOS that are showing up in its business results. So, metaverse.
From a corporate perspective, Meta’s drive to win the nascent if not-really-new concept of the metaverse makes sense. From a consumer perspective, I’m not stoked about Facebook winning.