On October 28th, 2021, CEO Mark Zuckerberg introduced Facebook’s biggest change yet – Meta. A rebranding the likes of which we have never seen, Meta promises to bring applications and virtual reality technology together to bring a new metaverse to life and “help people connect, find communities, and grow businesses”.
What is Meta?
These announcements are made in broad strokes, but the overall message is the intent to transition into an immersive virtual experience, known as The Metaverse. The engine initially powering this new universe will be virtual reality headsets, like those offered by Oculus, which are primarily utilized for gaming currently. Meta plans to utilize this technology to move beyond 2D screens, with augmented and virtual reality leading the future for social connection, fitness, work, and commerce alike. This announcement has caused quite a stir in the social media scene, with users and businesses owners questioning what these changes will mean for those utilizing the existing Facebook interface.
So, When are Changes Coming?
Unfortunately, not much is known in this regard. The timeframe outlined in Zuckerberg’s speech indicated that the rollout would occur in continual updates over the next decade, but there is some suggestion in Facebook’s announcement articles that a few minor transitions will begin to occur over the next few weeks. There is no clear indication yet as to which segments will be affected first or how extensively the user experience will change. Facebook has also put a large emphasis on their investment of $50 million in external research and open-source development.
Those who have logged in to their account over the past couple of weeks have undoubtedly noticed that Facebook is indeed still standing, and that social media interactions are fundamentally the same as a year ago. Apps like Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp, utilized by billions around the world, also look unremarkably the same despite being also listed in the overhaul that is the Metaverse. Facebook has indicated that some changes will start to surface over the next few weeks, though little is known about the specifics.
What Does This Mean for Our Industry?
Since the Facebook company is now Meta, Facebook for Business has now accordingly been dubbed Meta for Business. As indicated by the company’s November 5th announcement, users can expect to see updates to the platforms design and more content on how businesses can leverage new augmented and virtual reality technologies. The expectation is that these updates will be supplementary to existing platform features.
Changes may be coming, but everyday users will likely not see any major alterations to the Facebook platform for some time. For next steps, the powers-that-be have recommended following their corporate accounts on Facebook and Instagram for the latest updates. This is an evolving story with updates on the horizon. Check out our article on Facebook's New Business Page Experience to see other changes coming to the business portion of the platform.
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