It’s almost impossible today to open your favorite news app or to read about technology companies and see someone talking about Meta. By extension, this often includes conversations about the Metaverse. We thought we’d take a few moments today to address the question, “What is Meta” and what it might mean for the future of social media marketing.
First, what is Meta?
Facebook, the world’s largest social platform, launched in 2004. Founded by Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook later purchased the visually-focused social media platform Instagram in 2012. This purchase was then followed by Facebook buying WhatsApp in 2014 and finally Oculus, the biggest VR platform, in 2014.
In 2021, Facebook (the parent organization) reorganized itself as Meta. Under that umbrella falls each of their subsidiaries: Facebook (the platform), Instagram, WhatsApp, and so on.
Think of it in a Disney-like way: Disney owns Disney IPs such as Snow White and Cinderella but also owns Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Marvel, ABC Networks, and so on.
Why the name change?
Mark Zuckerberg has big plans for the future of the internet. Those plans include the expansion of the Metaverse, a term first coined by a novel called Snow Crash in 1992. Akin to the movie Ready Player One, Snow Crash is a book about a VR-based world. Social interactions, business, and more all take place within the Metaverse.
Zuckerberg adopted this name for his VR platform, pulling the shortened name “Meta” out for the newly reorganized company.
What is the Metaverse?
Is the Metaverse a VR-only platform? Does Sony’s upcoming PSVR2 headset connect to the Metaverse? Will Apple’s rumored VR platform tie into it?
To answer the last two questions plainly, no. They are their own VR ecosystems. The Metaverse is the VR platform ran and operated by Meta utilizing the wide market share that the company has through its Facebook and Instagram audiences. Like Sony, Meta has its ecosystem with the Metaverse.
Is it only a VR-based platform? For now, yes. You can’t log in to the Metaverse without a new MetaQuest headset using your Facebook login credentials.
Zuckerberg’s vision is that companies would host meetings via VR, gamers will game through VR interactions, and people will hang out just like they do today with their app based social media platforms within the Metaverse.
How does it help local businesses?
This question is the proverbial million-dollar question. There is a lot of speculation surrounding the future of the Metaverse and its benefits. For now, there isn’t a huge benefit to having a Metaverse storefront as the user base is relatively low compared to traditional social media platforms.
This may change. Read on.
Should you claim your “spot” in the Metaverse today?
This is the half-million dollar question and one that we’ll leave with a “please stand by.” The reality is VR is a growing opportunity for businesses, and PlayStation 5 owners are relatively hyped for the release of the next-generation PSVR2 headset.
And if Apple ever gets around to releasing its rumored headset, that could be the step that propels VR storefronts to the front of the public eye.
As it stands, the Metaverse in 2022 is more of a niche. Our only recommendation to proactively stake your spot in the Metaverse would be if your primary customer base is a heavy MetaQuest user.
Whether the Metaverse, LinkedIn, or another platform, we’re here to help! If there is one thing that’s consistent about Meta, its subsidiaries, as well as the other social media platforms, it’s that they all need content. This can take many shapes and forms, all of which we can help with. Remember, it’s important to stake your claim where your buyers are — that’ll give you the most effective ROI. Let us know what your needs are and we’ll help develop a marketing plan that’s right for your brand. Contact us today to get started!