Facebook announces $50 million investment fund to metaverse

Facebook announces $50 million investment fund tasked with developing its virtual metaverse. What is Metaverse?

Facebook has announced that it will allocate $50 million to a fund that will begin work on realizing the company’s vision for the metaverse. So let’s find out what is Metaverse and what are its effects?

A September 27 announcement outlines Facebook’s roadmap for building the metaverse, with funding expected to support “global program and research partners” looking to build the platform beyond internal research. the set.

The metamodel will not be built overnight by one company. “We will work with policymakers, experts and industry partners to bring this to life,” the statement said.

Metaverse will allow people to interact with each other, digital objects, and the physical world through their avatars in a virtual environment. Funding will be disbursed through Facebook’s XR Program and Research Fund.

Rumors of Facebook’s plans to build a virtual metaverse began circulating in June, with the company announcing the creation of an executive team tasked with overseeing the project.

In its latest announcement, Facebook asserts that its metaverse “is not necessarily about spending more time online – it’s about making the time you spend online more meaningful”.

Despite having a $50 million investment fund, Facebook believes it will take more than a decade until a comprehensive version of their metaverse launches and features a wide range of products and services.

To ensure its metaverse is deployed in an ethical and inclusive way, Facebook has also partnered with numerous universities and nonprofits representing minorities, including Women In Immersive Tech, Africa No Filter, The University of Hong Kong and National University of Singapore.

As Facebook raised capital to start growing its metaverse, cryptocurrency developers made strides in building their own decentralized and interoperable metavers.

Decentraland’s virtual universe consists of a community-owned decentralized virtual world built on the Ethereum blockchain. Users can build 3D environments, create avatars, or showcase a range of monetizable digital content.

Similarly, Sandbox is an NFT-powered game in which players can purchase digital lands and create gaming experiences on them to share with other users.

What is Metaverse and why is it being discussed a lot?

What is Metaverse?

First introduced in “Snow Crash”, a science fiction novel by American writer Neal Stephenson published in 1992, the metaverse is a convergence of the physical world. , virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR). With the metaverse, people can hang out with friends, work, visit places, buy goods and services, and attend events.

Although virtual worlds exist online, users cannot move between these virtual worlds because they do not hold their identities and assets. Metaverse is again able to solve this problem, turning different online worlds into a single, seamless entity. Metaverse has even been dubbed the next evolution of the Internet.

Such virtual worlds will be powered by blockchain as the technology underpins cryptocurrencies and NFTs (Non-fungible tokens), thus allowing people use to trade these virtual assets. NFTs can be used to represent an intangible digital item such as an image, video, or in-game token, which can therefore be traded in place of the digital asset they represent.

Another use case for NFT is tickets for virtual events.

According to experts, the idea of ​​​​creating a digital universe is not new. It always exists in games and on websites. But the digital asset craze fueled by the NFT is driving the digital goods economy, and the platforms that offer virtual and augmented reality are helping to make virtual experiences more like reality. With the online world changing, people want to be able to create and display unique digital identities and experiences.

One of the most popular virtual worlds, Decentraland, has a Mana-based cryptocurrency and major plots of land on it have sold for up to $1 million. According to data the platform shared with Economic Times (ET), it now has 80,000 monthly active users, 10 times more than this time last year. Coincidentally, the crypto-specialized Venkateswaran and Sundaresan fund, known as Metapurse, is the largest property owner in Decentraland.

Monish Darda, Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of software management startup Icertis, says two factors behind the current surge in interest in the metaverse are: the pandemic-induced virtualization of life out and technological advancements enable platforms like these. Icertis, a unicorn, has invested in companies that are building the metaverse.

“There is supply and demand, which makes the idea of ​​the metaverse very commercially appealing to everyone,” says Darda.

According to other experts, in recent months, the metaverse has gained widespread attention due to the explosion of NFT and this has been endorsed by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. In the past 30 days, Nonfungible.com says up to $2.1 billion worth of NFTs have been sold worldwide. The site has also valued Metapurse’s NFT portfolio at nearly $190 million.

And in June, Zuckerberg told Facebook employees that the company’s future goes beyond current social apps. Facebook will build a set of interconnected experiences as part of the metaverse.

“Our overarching goal for all of these initiatives is to bring the metaverse to life,” Zuckerberg said.

The original metaverse builders are NFT artists, musicians, and crypto companies, who are investing in virtual-world digital lands like Decentraland, Crytpovoxel, and Sandbox to showcase their work. and build specialized communities around it.

“The metaverse gallery is a great way to form a community around my work. It also allows me to select other artists and showcase my collection,” said NFT artist Amrit Pal Singh, who built Toy Face Cafe, a three-story art gallery on 180 square meters of land in Cryptovoxels Metaverse said. “I feel that supermarket real estate has a lot of opportunities in the long term,” he said.

Singh purchased this virtual land plot for 2.5 ether (Ethereum) tokens, which is more than Rs 5 lakh based on the current token value. More than 20,000 visitors have come to the cafe since it opened on June 8 this year.

Abhishek Sistla, co-founder of OmniFlix Network, bought a plot of land in Cryptovoxels for an Ethereum token last year. Omniflix is ​​a peer-to-peer network designed for creators and communities to mine, manage, and monetize NFTs and social tokens on blockchain networks.

Sistla wants to build an office on the ground where creators can meet potential collaborators. He organized a “virtual party” where about 30-50 people “meet” at his property and interact in real time through metaverse’s native messaging service.

NFT artists and architects also find it fascinating to build structures in these worlds.

Abhishek Bhaskar, an architect who designs and builds virtual world structures for individuals and businesses, says the number of incoming queries to design metaverses has increased over the past month.

“I think this pandemic has “scratched” our souls. People are looking for virtual spaces to escape to, where you can dissolve yourself and forget the pain,” he said. Anyone with 3D modeling experience can become a metaverse architect, says Bhaskar. Depending on the project, architects are paid between $2,000 and $5,000 to design a model for the metaverse.

Opportunity and potential of the metaverse

Proponents and creators in the metaverse tell Economic Times that there are endless use cases and unrealized to make money and live in the virtual world.

“In the metaverse, everything is tradable, which is a great opportunity for creators to come up with something unique and find a niche for themselves. You can rent out your land for events, you can make wearables that people can buy and dress up in the metaverse, you can have billboards and build games. It all depends on your imagination,” says NFT artist Singh.

Purists believe we are moving towards a singular metaverse – an interconnected network of all virtual worlds, where an individual’s identity will move seamlessly between worlds.

“The way I see it, this is the future, and you can’t avoid it like you can’t avoid Facebook and Twitter,” said Icertis’ Darda.