Since Facebook was renamed Meta on October 28, 2021, the vague concept that sparked the new name has become a hot topic of discussion.
Metaverse may seem to be the result of Meta’s wild passions, but they are not. Some argue that Mark Zuckerberg spent a lot of time during the keynote address at Connect 2021, while others see it as the next evolution of the Internet, known as Web3 or Web 3.0.
This is partly due to the fact that metaverse mean different things to different people, but the line between the virtual world and reality is blurred beyond recognition.
WHAT IS METAVERSE (MEANING)
To help you understand how confusing and complicated the term “metaverse” is, do the following exercise: Replace the word “metaverse” in the sentence with “cyberspace.” Ninety percent of the meaning hardly changes. This is because the term does not refer to any particular type of technology, but to a wide range of changes in how we interact with technology. It is also possible that the term itself is as outdated as the technology it once defined has become commonplace.
In general, the technology that makes up metaverse can include virtual reality, defined by a permanent virtual world that exists even when you’re not playing, and enhanced reality that combines aspects of the digital and physical worlds. However, these distances do not need to be accessed only by VR or AR. A virtual world like Fortnite’s side, which can be accessed through computers, game consoles, and even phones, can be meta-versatile.
It also shifts to a digital economy where consumers can create, buy and sell goods. Also, for a more idealistic view of metaversion, it is interoperable, allowing you to move virtual items such as clothing and cars from one platform to another. In real life, you can buy a shirt at the mall and wear it to the cinema. Currently, most platforms only have virtual IDs, avatars, and inventories connected to one platform, but Metaverse allows you to copy your profile picture from a single social network and create an image that you can carry anywhere. another.
It’s hard to analyze what all this means because when you hear an explanation like the one above, “Wait, isn’t it already there?” World of Warcraft, for example, is a permanent virtual world where players can buy and sell goods. Fortnite has a virtual experience with concerts and exhibitions, and Rick Sanchez can learn about MLK Jr. You can wear Oculus headphones and have a private virtual home. Does that really mean “metaverse”?
Well, yes, no. Saying Fortnite is “metaverse” would be like saying Google is “internet.” Although you could theoretically spend a lot of time on Fortnite, socializing, shopping, studying, and playing games, that doesn’t mean it covers the whole range of metaverse.
On the other hand, just as it is true to say that Google builds some parts of the Internet, from the physical data center to the security layer, so it is true to say that Fortnite creator Epic Games is building parts of the metaversion. And it’s not the only company that does it. Some of this work will be done by technology giants such as Microsoft and Facebook, and the latter has recently been renamed Meta to reflect this work, but we are not used to this name. Many other companies, such as Nvidia, Unity, Roblox, and even Snap, are all working on the infrastructure that can become metaverse.
At this point, most of the discussion about what metaverse is coming to a standstill. We have a vague understanding of what can be called metaverse, and we know what companies are investing in implementing this idea, but we still don’t know what it is. Sorry, Facebook, Meta, I still don’t understand- I think it includes a fake house where you can invite all your friends. Microsoft thinks this could include virtual meeting rooms to train new employees or chat with distant colleagues.
These fields of vision for the future range from optimism to direct fan fiction. At one point during the presentation of metaverse, the company saw a video of a friend posting a concert all over the world, sitting on the couch and flipping through Instagram pages.
The video concert was then cut and the woman appeared on an Avengers-style hologram. He can look at his friend there, and they can both listen to the performance and see the text floating on stage. This may sound cool, but it’s not promoting a real product or a potential product of the future. In fact, it leads us to the biggest problem with metaverse.
PROS: ADVANTAGES OF METAVERSE
Big Tech has focused on developing and using metaverse. Companies such as Microsoft and Meta have acknowledged that the future of the Internet and digital communications are moving toward the digital world, which narrows the boundaries between the real world and the virtual world.
The main advantage of Metaverse is that it identifies and implements new applications that revolutionize the way individuals use the Internet and other relevant digital communication technologies. Like the advantages of Web 2.0 and social media, this concept will make new value-added digital products and services practical.
The specific advantages and uses of metaverse are shown below.
EXPAND SOCIAL MEDIA BEYOND WEB 2.0
Zuckerberg and those behind the Meta platform acknowledge that technological capabilities connect people and allow them to express themselves. However, current social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok, as well as communication platforms such as Zoom, limit digital human interaction in the two-dimensional plane.
Users of the above-mentioned social media and communication platforms are limited to viewing an only computer or mobile phone screens. However, a meta-based platform allows you to experience a deeper experience by attracting a sense of presence. Zuckerberg calls it the standalone Internet in the digital environment.
All of the above is the reason why Facebook changed its name to Meta Platforms, renounced its role as a social media company, and introduced itself as a social technology company. The company aims to combine virtual reality and augmented reality to create more realistic digital communications and interactions.
Of course, since this is a social media extension beyond Web 2.0, Metaverse special applications focus on creating and sharing digital information or content that has made an amazing leap from plain text, photos, and videos. These contents are more graphically intensive. Furthermore, users themselves become content.
INNOVATIVE COMMUNICATION FOR WORK AND EDUCATION
The Covid-19 plague, which began in 2020, has led businesses around the world to adopt digital technology or online communications. Remote work or remote work and home-based arrangements have been the solution to keep these businesses running and keep individuals employed.
Even educational institutions have been forced to use distance and distance learning technologies and services due to face-to-face communication restrictions. Please note that the main reason for the popularity of video conferencing platforms such as Zoom Video Communications, Google Meet and Microsoft Teams is the Covid-19 plague.
However, as mentioned above, these platforms do not provide an engaging and engaging experience, unlike face-to-face communication. Communication is limited to real-time audio and video from the screen. The Metaverse-based platform allows for more engaging interactions between participants thanks to a stunning, graphically rich virtual environment.
Instead of looking at the rest of the participants on a computer screen and interacting with a microphone or speaker, imagine that you are in a virtual office or lecture hall, and you will be able to see and travel this virtual environment in full 360 degrees. dealing with the living image of the participants.
NEW OPPORTUNITIES FOR ENTREPRENEURS & MARKET PARTICIPANTS
Social networking sites and platforms are disrupting the media industry. Unlike traditional means of social media, such as broadcasts and publications, which are limited to viewers or text messages, the popularity of social media has allowed the public to become messengers and content creators on their own.
It is worth noting that social media platforms allow all types of businesses and marketers to promote their products and services in ways that go beyond the reach and capabilities of traditional media. These platforms paved the way for the introduction of a new subsector of marketing and a specific form of digital marketing called social media marketing.
Of course, one of the best ways to use metaverse is to expand social media beyond Web 2.0, so it can be used as a marketing platform. It will inherit the advantages of social media, but it will be more useful. In particular, the benefits of metaverse to businesses and marketers focus on the benefits of virtualization.
Marketers can create a digital version of their product or place a storefront page in a shared virtual world where users can see and manage. It will also open up new e-commerce gateways that take advantage of improved realities. The interaction between the target market and the marketing content and advertising will be more interesting.
USE OF BLOCKCHAIN TECHNOLOGY IS BEING OFFSET
Another notable advantage of Metaverse is that it complements or complements the use of blockchain technology. Note that blockchain is the main technology behind cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum platform ethereal cryptocurrency, Dogecoin, Cardano platform Ada cryptocurrency.
But blockchain is not just a technology for implementing and storing crypto coins and crypto tokens. It is a decentralized or distributed database used as a transaction log or ledger. Another highlight is the creation and distribution of unused tokens or digital assets called NFTs.
With the creation of NFT using blockchain technology, the new trend in gaming is trying to promote the concept of earning money for players to play, which can be traded under other platforms or game names, and the game’s digital assets. . These games are called NFT or blockchain games. Some notable examples include Axie Infinity.
Remember that metaverse are the digital world of virtual space. Blockchain applications such as cryptocurrency, content tokenization via NFT, blockchain games, as well as decentralized finance and cyber security are possible activities as a result of the participation and cooperation of Internet users.
CREATING AND FURTHER PROMOTING A VIRTUAL ECONOMY
In today’s digital world, there is a virtual economy. Video games are a great example. In particular, interactive video games such as RPGs and MMORPGs, simulation games, action games, and even casual games have an internal virtual economy by acquiring and exchanging assets within the game.
A virtual economy is an economy on a virtual platform. However, it should be noted that the virtual economy is different from the real-world economy. People participate in virtual economic activities for fun and entertainment. On the other hand, participation in the real economy is essential because it is a matter of survival.
Given the future expansion of social media, the advancement of digital communications, the benefits to businesses and marketers, and the additional impact of blockchain use, another advantage of metaverse are that it can fully support the creation of a virtual economy. real-world economy.
Metaverse provides a digital platform for the in-depth exchange of digital and offline products and services, including digital assets. Please note that these digital assets may have real economic value. Furthermore, it will support the creation of new commercial activities and jobs in the collaborative virtual space or in the real world.
CONS: DISADVANTAGE OF METAVERSE
Based on the above characteristics, as well as the advantages and uses of metaverse, this concept can be considered as a common virtual space that allows for deeper communication between participants. The Big Tech companies that support it are basically trying to get people to live in this digital world.
However, this idea is not very popular with players and critics in other industries. It also raises a number of issues and concerns due to the persistent and unresolved issues that plague the online world today. Of course, if these issues remain unresolved, metaverse will simply inherit them and in some cases make it worse.
The specific disadvantage and criticisms of Metaverse are outlined below.
ADVANCED DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES REQUIRED
One of the disadvantages of Metaverse is that it requires the introduction of advanced technology. Of course, there are several technologies, standards, or protocols that can already be traded to implementers. However, this concept will require additional investment in the development of new technologies.
As the best example, let’s take a good look at your internet connection. Participating in a shared virtual space requires reliable data transfer speeds because it is graphically intensive. Current fiber-optic broadband and 5G network technologies, especially mmWave 5G network technology, maybe sufficient support to implement this concept.
But it is still true that reliable services are still available to a large number of people around the world. In addition, better or more advanced digital communication technologies will need to be introduced by service providers and relevant government agencies to engage people in the metaverse, as well as its benefits and uses.
This concept will require next-generation digital communication tools or instruments. These items are not available to individuals or the public for the simplest reason that they are not available on the market or are still expensive. Failure to make them accessible will deprive several people of the promised benefits of metaverse.
MAY DAMAGE HUMAN RELATIONSHIPS AND SOCIETY
One of Metasever’s selling points is to improve the benefits of social media and existing online communication tools by introducing more interesting ways to communicate and socialize with people online. However, several people have expressed concern about this advantage or benefit.
Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt has expressed concern about plans to introduce meta-platform metaverse. In an interview with the New York Times, he warned that “it doesn’t have to be the best thing in human society.” He also said that “everyone who talks about the meta-world is talking about a world that is more satisfying than the current world.”
Schmidt noted that artificial intelligence, one of the key technologies for designing and operating metaverse, is a “giant false god” who can create unhealthy, parasocial relationships. He asked what his friend with AI would look like, especially a child, or whether AI would feel the side of reality that people don’t understand.
Other business leaders have also expressed concern about the technology. For example, in a series of comments posted on his official Twitter page in February 2020, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that his company does not have much confidence in the transparency and security of artificial intelligence.
DOMINANT AND UPCOMING SECURITY AND SAFETY ISSUES
Social media platforms such as Facebook and YouTube, as well as other online applications such as video conferencing platforms such as Zoom Video Communication and even Internet browsing, have been criticized for security and privacy risks. they take pictures in public.
These platforms and applications have been criticized for being too intrusive because they collect a lot of information from users that pose a risk to security and privacy. Furthermore, this information was collected and sold and used for intrusive online advertising, as well as theft of personal information and other cybercrime-related crimes.
It is worth noting that some of the companies behind them did not pay enough attention to the criticism leveled at them. Meta platforms have come under scrutiny around the world for their internal actions, which ignore how their social networking platforms negatively affect the interests of their users.
Of course, if the current digital world continues to be affected by these concerns or issues, it can be said that in the future they will call for online-enabled platforms and applications, including metaverse. Furthermore, the idea of sharing a virtual space will open up new issues related to the security and privacy of not only individuals but also organizations.
Metaverse is a term that refers to an online experience that combines several aspects of social media, enhanced reality, virtual reality, online gaming, and artificial intelligence to enable individuals or participants to interact with one another. another is closer to real-world interactions.
Based on this definition, its strengths include expanding existing social media experiences and digital communications, opening up new opportunities for businesses, creating a valuable virtual economy, and offsetting the use of blockchain technology.
The disadvantages of Metaverse, as well as the issues and criticisms that go with it, focus primarily on the fact that current online platforms or products or services remain problematic. These issues include security, privacy risks, the social and cultural impact of modern digital communications, and limited access to technology.