Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg will open today the eighth edition of Connect, the annual appointment for the platform’s developers dealing with augmented and virtual reality. In his keynote important news are expected on the investment plan and development of the metaverse, but it is not excluded that updates will also arrive on Facebook Papers and answers to the criticisms that have overwhelmed the social network in recent weeks.
Facebook, Zuckerberg speaks: the metaverse and the future of the company
The turning point
It could be an opportunity to announce Facebook’s new name, along with a reorganization of the company that many imagine similar to the one in which Google became part of Alphabet six years ago. These moves are on the one hand an attempt to distract investors and users from the revelations of former Facebook employee Frances Haugen, and on the other a strategy to show that Zuckerberg is still capable of realizing great ideas but also that he has learned from his mistakes. , and intends to build the metaverse with care and attention to ethical issues.
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For Zuckerberg the metaverse is a set of virtual spaces in which to create and explore with other people who are in different physical places. The term was coined in 1992 by cyberpunk writer Neal Stephenson to describe a virtual world where people find refuge from the real one, full of illusions and violence. Which, however, in its Snow Crash, make it dangerously similar to Facebook as it is today.
But a company’s internal culture informs the way it evolves, develops its products, and even changes. Think of Microsoft, for example: it took two CEOs and over ten years (plus various Antitrust investigations on both sides of the Atlantic) for the company to move away from Bill Gates’ guidelines.
At Facebook, Zuckerberg holds an absolute majority of the voting shares and continues to effectively run the company. There is no doubt therefore that the push on the metaverse is real, and recent announcements confirm this, such as the 10,000 jobs in Europe alone or the 10 billion dollar investment.
So far, the CEO has pushed for Facebook to grow at any cost: the social network now has nearly 3 billion subscribers around the world and huge profits. He has the trust of Wall Street, but not that of users and legislators: and the most difficult task for Zuckerberg will be to convince partners and audiences that he has moved on and that he and his new platform can be trusted.
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