Mark Zuckerberg recently announced that he wants Facebook to become an online ‘metaverse’. He literally wants you to live, work and play on Facebook. I guess owning everyone’s social life isn’t enough for Zuck, and I suppose a net worth of $128 Billion isn’t enough either. Are you as tired as I am hearing these multi-hundred billionaires telling the world just how great they are going to make our lives?
New Glasses same old Game
No one really understood why Facebook bought Oculus Rift, a VR headset company back in 2014. Now it’s clear, Zuckerberg and his VR engineers have been building a virtual metaverse where you can live work and play. I believe it’s a ludicrous idea.
Instead of Zoom, Zuckerberg thinks it would be far more exciting if we all strap on VR headsets and stand around the virtual water cooler communicating with creepy 3D avatar colleagues. Seriously? It’s been tough enough trying to keep your work life separate from your personal life on Zoom for the past 18 months, and now Mark wants to completely merge them – just so that he can sell more advertising?
Apparently, we should be chilling on virtual couches with our friends rather than liking and replying to them on the newsfeed. I wonder if I will get to choose the type of couch I’ll chill on, or will that randomly change depending on which big-box store has paid Facebook for my eyeballs. Will I be able to get Coke or Pepsi but never both in the virtual 7-Eleven?
Furthermore, this has all been done before. The online metaverse, Second Life, has been around since 2003. Heck, people even get married on Second Life. There is nothing new here folks, Facebook is essentially a VR version of Second Life. Second Life, World of Warcraft and The Sims have all created games in virtual reality. Facebook, on the other hand is playing for, and with your real life.
What happened to live fast and break things?
So don’t be fooled folks, Zuckerberg doesn’t want to make your life any better, he just wants all of it. The average user spends 33 minutes a day on Facebook, and Zuckerberg makes money every single second one spends scrolling, liking and replying. Mark’s metaverse is nothing more than the same tired Facebook business model: Get more of your attention and find more ways to monetize it. Zuckerberg is still trying to convince us that we need Facebook to be social – be it online, through VR, or even in the real world. Well, we don’t. Humans are social animals, and we simply need to socialize. Meet people in real life. Start a conversation, and if you like them, connect with them on your terms.
Seriously, I cannot think of anything scarier than giving Facebook a single second more of my attention, and I won’t shed a single tear if Mark Zuckerberg’s personal fortune doesn’t get any bigger than $128 Billion!