So this week Facebook announced it’s renaming itself to Meta, and going all-in on the Metaverse:
They had an hour-long keynote and demo with Zuck explaining and showing possibilities. During this “livestream”, literally 90% of the comments were pretty shocked and suspicious at the new direction, which serves to suck people even more into virtual reality and away from each other:
Reminds me of when they rolled out the newsfeed many years ago (The outrage prompted Zuck to write an official post “Calm, breathe, we hear you.”). The newsfeed culture led to what kind of society we have today – where our news are curated by privately-owned social networks, to maximize “engagement”. People arguing about the latest politics. People wishing each other happy birthday en masse on their newsfeeds, instead of calling each other. The words “like” and “friend” were changed – in some ways, cheapened – by Facebook.
The prevailing economic model of Facebook has been advertising, and now it might be about monetizing content (worlds, items) by digital content creators. It’s interesting that the Metaverse is completely online, where there doesn’t have to be any scarcity, yet the platforms will impose artificial scarcity in order for content creators to get paid. We recently discussed various economic models for digital content on an episode of the Intercoin show.
Power to the People
At Qbix and Intercoin, we have an alternative vision, that’s almost the opposite of Facebook’s. People meeting up in the real world again. People engaging in group commerce in local communities. Liberating people from having to rely on giant corporations to connect them and enable commerce. Check out what we’ve been writing over the years about how things could go: