Skip to main content

The Manual may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

What Is This Metaverse Mark Zuckerberg Speaks of?

Second Life online marketplace avatars in the metaverse celebrate the site's 11th birthday.
Second Life online marketplace avatars in its ‘walled’ metaverse. HyacintheLuynes

It turns out Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg left the planet during an October news cycle that held a spotlight squarely on Facebook. On the Senate floor, whistleblower Frances Haugen testified to the many ways that Facebook has harmed its users as supported by a cache of secret documents. Upon his return to public view, Zuckerberg did nothing to acknowledge those charges, instead releasing a video vision for his company’s future. This projection includes a new name — Meta — and a utopian aspiration to elicit a streaming virtual reality that dodges the reality of a vigorous investigation.

“Video has become the main way that we experience content … but this isn’t the end of the line. The next platform in media will be even more immersive. An embodied internet where you’re in the experience, not just looking at it. We call this the metaverse,” Zuckerberg says in Facebook’s almost 80-minute streaming Connect 2021 vision statement. 

What is this place? Is it as fantastic as Zuckerberg claims? And is it as imminent as the CEO wants people to believe? 

Technologists describe the metaverse as an enduring, shared, 3D virtual environment where people can meet for activities ranging from playing games to conducting business. The metaverse incorporates technologies like virtual reality and augmented reality to create its own world. 

You can catch glimpses of the metaverse today in virtual worlds offered by Roblox, Fortnite, even from Second Life, which began all the way back in 2003. These applications, however, are missing two critical aspects of a ‘real’ metaverse. 

First, though these games, to varying extents, use virtual reality and augmented reality to place users ‘in world,’ Zuckerberg describes the metaverse as “an embodied internet that you’re inside of rather than just looking at.”

“The defining quality of the metaverse is presence, which is this feeling that you’re really there with another person or in another place,” Zuckerberg said during a recent conference call with Facebook stock analysts. 

Second, a true metaverse is interconnected, not a collection of “walled gardens” — metaverse-like 3D experiences that users can control, but don’t connect to the broader internet. 

Users will be able to access the metaverse from devices — smartphones, PCs, virtual reality headsets, and augmented-reality smart glasses. Right now, companies like Microsoft, Nvidia, and Unity Software, in addition to Facebook, are among those producing this hardware and applications for a next-generation internet with these capabilities. While these firms are positioning themselves as metaverse leaders, it’s hard to envision these ultra-proprietary technology companies sharing the metaverse. 

Related Guides

On Oct. 25, the social network said investments into its metaverse ambitions, via Facebook Reality Labs, will reduce overall operating profits by about $10 billion in 2021. That’s a big slice of real money to spend on a virtual world and shows the belief Zuck’s got in the efficacy of a digital world. 

“Creation, avatars, and digital objects are going to be central to how we express ourselves, and this is going to lead to entirely new experiences and economic opportunities,” Zuckerberg says in Connect 2021. 

In July, Zuckerberg told The Verge that it could take five years for Facebook to transition from social media to the metaverse. Facebook stock will begin trading as Meta stock under the ticker ‘MVRS’ on Dec. 1. Whether or not this takes the heat off of Facebook in the courtroom is a whole ‘nother question. 

If you’re interested in digging deeper into Zuckerberg’s vision, you can check out the entire video below. 

Read More: The Matrix 4 Trailer Is Here

Editors' Recommendations

Matthew Denis
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Matt Denis is an on-the-go remote multimedia reporter, exploring arts, culture, and the existential in the Pacific Northwest…
What is DMT? Learn why this powerful drug is unlike other psychedelics
Find out what DMT "elves" are all about, among other things
A whole lot of psychedelics. DMT and other drugs.

So what is DMT? The instructions were simple: Inhale from the vape for three sustained pulls — while seated. That last bit is important because it doesn’t seem like your body is capable of much — standing included — when DMT is on the scene. Come to think of it, I have no idea what your body is doing when you’re smoking DMT because after I took the third pull, I’m pretty sure I went Someplace Else. I’m also pretty sure that my body stayed behind, more or less collapsed on the couch of my Vancouver Airbnb.

What is the DMT trip like? Are there any risks? One thing is certain: It’s a class of psychedelic unto its own.

Read more
What does CBD oil feel like? These are the basics
Want a way to relax, reduce your pain, or be more in tune with yourself? Then this is what CBD oil feels like
Cannabis oil extracts in droppers beside marijuana leaves and a marijuana cones in a metal container

Deciding if you want to try CBD is a personal decision, and the reasons you might be interested in the product vary wildly from person to person. Some people want to use CBD to relieve pain, while others use it to destress or to feel more relaxed.

Whatever your reasons for wanting to dabble in CBD, you're likely curious about what it feels like to take it, whether you should try smoking CBD, or if taking it as an oil is the best option for you. What does CBD oil feel like? Like all legal drugs, your decision to take CBD is up to you, but this guide may prove helpful as you weigh your options.
What does smoking CBD feel like?
Smoking CBD affects every user differently, depending on the quantity you take, how frequently you use it, and a range of other factors related to each individual. Unlike cannabis, smoking CBD does not get you high, which means it doesn't impair your judgment or your motor skills in that way.

Read more
Wes Anderson’s star-studded ‘Asteroid City’ trailer is exactly what you want it to be
Check out the trailer for Wes Anderson's 'Asteroid City"
wes anderson asteroid city trailer

Not many directors working in Hollywood today are able to be the headliner of a film. People are often more interested in summer blockbusters and superhero flicks than they are the unique work of a specific filmmaker. Steven Spielberg and Guillermo del Toro are two of the names that separate themselves from the rest when having this discussion. Wes Anderson is another example, and his newest film offers a star-studded trailer for the masses to enjoy.

Asteroid City - Official Trailer - Only In Theaters June 16

Read more