Facebook will spend 50 million to create its metaverse

Facebook will spend 50 million to create its metaverse

The social network will invest in research and development programs to carry out its visionary project of virtual spaces, but it could take up to 15 years

Photo: Bertrand Guay / Afp via Getty Images Facebook is serious with its metaverse - the digital world imagined by the company - and will allocate $ 50 million for its development. The fund that will manage this money is called the Xr Programs and Research Fund, and the company says the money will be invested over the next two years in "programs and external research."

Facebook also provides a his definition of metaverse, which can be considered the most official and complete, so far. The metaverse, quoted several times by Mark Zuckerberg in recent months, would be nothing more than "a set of virtual spaces in which you can act and that you can explore with other people who are not in the same physical space as you".

According to the social network, thanks to the metaverse in the future we will be able "to go out with friends, work, play, learn, shop, create and more", specifying however that "it is not necessarily about spending more time online: it's about making the time you spend online more meaningful. ”

A metaverse doesn't depend on a single product and needs more than just Facebook to exist, the company says. For this reason it could take 10 to 15 years to complete this idea on which the company seems to be focusing a lot. Facebook Vice President Nick Clegg talked about the program with The Verge, calling it "a start" for metaverse research.

Other investments in virtual reality

The largest social network in the world has already invested heavily in virtual reality and augmented reality in recent years, developing hardware such as its Oculus Vr viewers. Right now, Facebook's most important metaverse program is a platform called Horizon Workrooms, which exists as a beta app of Oculus and allows people to hold meetings in an augmented reality space. It also recently launched Ray-Ban Stories, its first smart glasses featuring dual cameras, microphone, speaker and voice assistant. But the metaverse project has already alerted industry experts who fear both a way for companies like Facebook to acquire and profit from even more user data. Facebook in this regard has made it known that it will work with politicians, researchers and industry partners during the development of the metaverse to create a solid infrastructure. The company assures it will also engage human rights and civil rights communities from the start "to ensure these technologies are built in an inclusive way."

Facebook will contact organizations such as Women in Immersive Tech, Africa No Filter , Electric South and Organization of American States and will facilitate “independent external research” in collaboration with universities such as the University of Hong Kong and the National University of Singapore. The social network will only provide these universities with funds and not data to avoid being too involved in their studies. In addition to inclusion, the company said it plans to work with researchers on privacy and data security as well.

Facebook recently faced several allegations for poor moderation of some content on the platform and for not have considered research showing unpleasant effects of their apps. And he said he had suspended development of Instagram Kids, an app that would provide content suitable for children under the age of 13, after social media for grown-ups was accused of damaging the mental health of many girls. teenagers. A Facebook executive will testify on September 30 before a US Senate committee about Instagram's impact on its young users.

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