Metaverse pioneers unimpressed with Facebook rebranding
LONDON, Nov. 1 (Reuters) – Early users of virtual worlds known as the metaverse have criticized Facebook’s rebranding as an attempt to capitalize on the growing buzz around a concept it did not create .
The term metaverse has become a tech buzzword this year, with companies and investors keen to be a part of the next big thing. But users have spent years of time in these rapidly growing but obscure virtual worlds. Read more
“They’re basically trying to build what a lot of us have been building for years, but rename it after their own,” said Ryan Kappel, an American who for more than two years hosted meetups in different metavers.
Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Facebook’s name change to Meta Platforms and details of its plan to build its own immersive digital world, announced on Thursday, come as the company battles criticism from lawmakers and regulators over its market power, algorithmic decisions and police abuse its services. Read more
In virtual worlds, users can walk around as an avatar, meet friends, and play games. Some that are blockchain-based also allow users to speculate on virtual real estate.
“I think Facebook made this early name change to basically secure the new brand legally ASAP, as more brands become interested in it,” said a UK-based crypto investor known as of Pranksy, who said he bought real estate in the virtual world for the first time. 2020.
Artur Sychov, who founded the metaverse Somnium Space in 2017, said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s announcement of the rebranding seemed “rushed … kind of like trying to fit into the narrative of the metaverse that is currently taking place “.
Sychov spends up to five hours a day in Somnium Space with 1,000 to 2,000 other daily users.
Dave Carr, head of communications at the organization that runs the Decentraland virtual world, said Facebook’s move could meet resistance from users of the Metaverse who are wary of its control over content.
“People who wish to determine the future of the virtual worlds they inhabit, retain ownership of their creative output and move freely between them will choose the decentralized version,” he said, describing the metaverse environment of Decentraland. as decentralized and Facebook’s plan as likely centralized.
Decentraland, founded in 2017 with around 7,000 daily users today, sees itself as an alternative to traditional social media platforms that sell user data and control what content users see.
Many existing metaverse platforms are based on blockchain technology which makes central control impossible. Blockchain is the distributed ledger architecture that underpins cryptocurrencies. In these virtual worlds, people use cryptocurrencies to purchase land and other digital items in the form of non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Read more
However, the reaction from early Metaverse users has not been entirely negative. Some said Facebook’s entry could spark interest in the concept of virtual worlds in general, attract more users, and support the development of multiple virtual worlds.
Tristan Littlefield, co-founder of NFT company nft42 and user of the Metaverse since 2018, said his initial reaction to Facebook’s announcement was negative because he doesn’t like his sale of user data.
But “having a behemoth like Facebook that comes in to pour billions of dollars … could be positive” because of the new people it brings into space, he said.
Reporting by Elizabeth Howcroft; Editing by Cynthia Osterman
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