the metaverse for the pros. But what about the general public?

Metaverse-Meta-Connect-Zuckerberg-Abrash

the Meta connection was Meta’s biggest event in a long time. After a year of “Metaverse”, Mark Zuckerberg showed the progress, a glimpse of the possible prospects, but they also showed what is wrong.

Meta is still on its way to the Metaverse

Meta has been working intensively on its vision for the Metaverse for a year. But it is far from being a mass affair. At least if we think in terms of Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram users.

The first step is to communicate about the topic itself and the areas of application in the business context. Projects like Horizon Worlds act as trial balloons. First because of the limited availability, but also because of the functionality.

The well-known partnerships are much more in the foreground, from which the partners benefit, but of course Meta also benefits. New and expanded partnerships with Microsoft and Accenture were introduced as part of Meta Connect.

Meta Connect - Mark Zuckerberg_Meta Quest Pro

Microsoft is not only a well-known partner, but also particularly relevant in the business context of the Metaverse. Virtual meetings have long been the order of the day at Meta with breakout rooms. With the new Meta Quest Pro, these target groups are precisely addressed. A $1,500 VR headset isn’t for the mainstream.

We won’t go into detailed technical specifications here in the article. If you’re interested, you’ll find a nice preview on Mixed, which also has early reviews. In short, the Meta Quest Pro offers many technical improvements. The Quest Pro packs six cameras and not just two like the Quest 2. Additionally, the cameras are now also in the controllers, which greatly improves motion detection.

Incidentally, Meta communicates here much more soberly and clearly than many Metaverse consultants. At least within the framework of the Meta Connect.

On the one hand, players who are ready to invest so much money are addressed, or companies that want to use VR and the Metaverse are addressed.

For example, Accenture uses 60,000 Meta Quest 2 VR glasses for employee training. Social media and Meta Horizon Worlds are not the focus here, or only marginally so.

Above all, we are talking about the Metaverse from the perspective of Meta. A Fortnite or Roblox will see it differently, although there are certainly parallels. Meta sees itself as an enabling platform and metaverse and not the metaverse itself.

A parallel to Roblox, Fortnite and other Metaverse worlds are avatars. Here too, Meta wants to play a central role.

Meta Connect: meta-avatars as a digital twin

Metaverse Avatar Mark Zuckerberg

We know avatars from Facebook and also from Instagram. Then, of course, there are the Horizon Worlds or Workrooms avatars. These two avatars are merged, so only one avatar is needed but used in different places.

Moreover, the goal of Meta is not only to make avatars more and more realistic, but also to make them available beyond Meta. This means that I can also use my Instagram avatar in other Metaverse games. But even that is still in the future. The fact is that avatars play an important role for the Metaverse and instead of multiple avatars, Meta wants to provide the “digital twin”. It has also been shown in demos here that avatars for the next five years will have nothing to do with today’s avatars.

Horizon Worlds isn’t just for VR anymore

Avatars are a central element of the social networks of tomorrow. At least from a meta perspective. However, if they are only accessible to a few people, Meta will not achieve its goal.

By 2030, 1 billion people will be connected to Meta’s Metaverse.

Ambitious goals, which however do not concern second-hand or sold VR headsets. The use of avatars is also included here. For avatars to spread further, Horizon Worlds will also be available in the browser. It’s currently doubtful that this will give Horizon Worlds the boost it needs.

Opening Horizon Worlds is the right decision, however, because hardly anyone will invest $1,500 to use Horizon Worlds.

Another connection to Instagram was also presented. Horizon Worlds videos can be shared directly as an Instagram reel. This is where the creators come in to create visibility and reach for Horizon Worlds. But it is nothing more. Horizon Worlds reels stand out, but the question is whether they stand out positively or negatively.

The likelihood of you seeing a Horizon Worlds reel in the near future is pretty slim.

The country needs new creators… Metaverse

If one term dominates meta communication away from the metaverse, it’s the creator.

Creators are also expected to play an important role in Horizon Worlds and the Metaverse itself. Meta talks about partners in the form of companies, developers and creators.

However, this form of creator will have little to do with what we mean by creators today. Exactly what the content will look like is also a thing of the future. AR effects, NFTs, virtual goods for avatars or virtual worlds themselves give a first impression.

The interface with Instagram, for example, is that virtual content can be shared. Instagram has already taken the first steps here with NFTs.

Was the Meta Connect now the great recognition of the Metaverse?

No she was not. The Meta Connect was much more of a status quo, a preview of last year’s developments and a look into the future.

Yes, Meta has released some great technology at Meta Connect with the Meta Quest Pro, which is definitely not a consumer headset. But neither should she be. The vision of how Meta would like to use its technical skills in hardware and software became clearer. Additionally, a picture emerges of the role social media plays in the metaverse and the role avatars play.

It is therefore rather a further development of existing approaches, which have been elaborated but also improved. But it’s still true that the meta is still in its infancy. There is still a lot of work to do on Meta, especially in Germany. Not only in terms of technical solutions, but also how the future of virtual reality and data protection will continue in Germany. A “privacy by design” approach is essential for Meta and this should also be achieved. However, no decision has yet been made. Thus, the Meta Quest Pro will not be available in Germany. An official rollout of Horizon Worlds in Germany is also not known. Other countries in Europe should follow, but we are not involved.

Meta will play a crucial role in the future of the Metaverse. We will see more applications, different versions of Meta Quest and more and more interfaces. No one can currently say how concrete all this will become. But at Meta Connect 2023 we can see again what Meta has done in 12 months.

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