Metaverse: the difference between Meta and the metaverse

Beatrice Borghi - February 7, 2022
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Metaverse: the difference between Meta and the metaverse

Metaverse - PXR Italy

We often hear about the metaverse as a kind of virtual reality that is shared via the internet and is participatory for anyone who wants to through avatars. If before it seemed only a distant fantasy belonging only to the world of advanced technology we can finally say that the dream will become reality.

In America, according to a survey by Statista, only 32% of people are interested in the world of the metaverse and the correlation with Meta. The least interested are men over 65.

In this article we will look at the substantial difference between Zuckerberg's new company (Meta) and the parallel world of the metaverse, with an in-depth look at the various declinations it will bring to the spheres of everyday life in the coming years.

AR reality - PXR Italy

The metaverse and the immersive world

As we mentioned earlier, the metaverse is a virtual reality shared through the Internet, where each person is represented through a 3D avatar. The term was coined by the writer Neal Stephenson in his 1992 novel Snow Crash and perfectly expresses the meaning of a parallel world characterised by characters (avatars) who move in it as in the real world.

Its fame has led several investment funds to buy digital terrains, such as Sandbox and Decentraland, in which users can simulate typical everyday events. For example, Republic Realm bought land in the virtual world of Sandbox for $4,3 million.

Meta: Mark Zuckerberg's new company

"Facebook is changing its name to Meta": this is the news that has been appearing in newspapers around the world for a few months now. CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that the name change would be made official in October 2021. The ultimate goal of the project is to adapt the social network to the new digital age, adding elements of virtual and augmented reality to the various services offered.

As of today, nothing will change for users, and the CEO will ensure that all privacy rights are absolutely guaranteed. At a later stage, the goal will be the use of virtual reality visors that will allow people to 'enter' places that do not exist (in our reality) to meet avatars of people who do exist.

All this will be created both for fun and for work; there is talk of a sort of Second Life 2.0. In addition, the two social networks Facebook and Instagram will be part of Meta, as well as the instant messaging application WhatsApp and the augmented reality visor division Oculus.

Metaverse vision - PXR Italy

Avatars are the stars

3D avatars have been present on social networks for some time now, with endless possibilities for customisation. In an interview, CEO Mark Zuckerberg says "we're updating the Meta avatars with more expressions, faces and skin tones, as well as implementing wheelchairs and hearing aids", and adding "we're also starting to experiment with digital clothing, including official NFL jerseys that can be worn (virtually, ed.) for the Super Bowl".

The roll-out of these new digital characters has started in the US, Canada and Mexico, but will soon reach Europe as well, giving social users a new immersive perspective in line with virtual and augmented reality.

How will the world change with the metaverse?

The virtual world of the metaverse will soon become part of our everyday lives and will allow a new and different interaction from the one we know. The real and virtual worlds are getting closer and closer together and the metaverse will enable a definitive step towards this fusion.

One area in which the metaverse will have a major impact is advertising: companies will be able to advertise their products and sell them in completely new ways, with the creation of online shops accessible through augmented reality.

Among the companies that are going the furthest in this dimension is Microsoft, which announces that as early as mid-2022 it will be possible to participate in online Teams meetings through avatars. The footwear and sporting goods giant Nike has created its own virtual space NIKELAND through Roblox, an online gaming platform with around 43 million daily active users and specialised in creating experiences.

If you want to learn more about the world of the metaverse, read our article NFT: a new guarantee in the world of investment.

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