Are you ready to live in a 3D-navigable, socially connected, conscience-curving, carefree virtual world? Facebook ’s pursuit of this metaverse dream as its next platform is bold, though it may be like swapping out a car’s engine while it’s going 100 mph—hard to do without crashing. Look at Apple as it transitioned from computers to iPods and iPhones. Facebook even changed its name to Meta. “The dream was to feel present with the people we care about,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg explained. He also promised “immersive all-day experiences.” Facebook may need a new platform anyway if the Biden administration dismantles its current one in the name of antitrust.
This has been tried before. A virtual space called “Second Life” launched in 2003. You could buy digital property and clothes with real money and hang out with other blocky avatars. It was early days. Naysayers in Silicon Valley liked to say that “Second Life” was for those who didn’t have a first one.