Technological iced tea

Ambition behind Facebook’s decision to change its name: Establishing a ‘Digital Universe’, a dream ‘Virtual Arena’ for Mark Zuckerberg

Information about Facebook’s rebranding towards a “digital universe” (Metaverse) has attracted the attention of netizens. So what is the “digital universe”?

To better understand this issue, perhaps readers should check out the movie “Ready Player One” released in 2018 by director Steven Spielberg. The context of the film shows quite fully about a “digital universe”.

In theory, the digital universe is a super-network that maintains the virtual environment’s continuity. In it, people can interact with each other or virtual objects in the environment through digital characters (Avatars) created. Imagine online role-playing games with loads of players.

Image source: Ready Player One-Warner Bros

The concept of the digital universe is a science fiction term that many in the technology industry considers a product of the current Internet environment. Although this is just a concept and has not been successfully built, big companies like Facebook are trying to lay the first bricks for them. The world’s largest social network is aiming to build virtual spaces for online activities, from working, playing, studying to shopping.

The term “digital universe” (Metaverse) is a combination of “Meta” (Transcendent) with “Verse” in “Universe”. The term was used by science fiction novelist Neal Stephenson in his 1992 book “Snow Crash” to describe a virtual world in which protagonist Hiro Protagonist socializes, shops, and defeats enemies through communication. through his digital character.

However, few people know that this term has been used before with the same concept but under a different name as “CyberSpace” in the novel “Neucromancer” in 1984 by author William Gibson.


A digital universe usually has three main characteristics: Presence, Interoperability, and Standardization.

Presence is the feeling of being in a virtual space with other players or objects. Many studies over the past decades show that getting a real feel will increase the quality of online interactions and players can achieve with devices attached to the person.

Interoperability allows players to seamlessly move between virtual spaces while preserving digital assets such as items or virtual characters originally created. For example in the movie “Virtual Arena”, players can move between hundreds of virtual games with the same characters and assets in their pocket without losing it.

Currently, technologies like Blockchain and cryptocurrencies can help people transact online in the virtual space.

Ambition behind Facebook s decision to change its name Establishing a Digital Universe a dream Virtual Arena for Mark Zuckerberg | Technological iced tea

Image source: Ready Player One-Warner Bros

Then there is the ability to standardize, thereby allowing platforms and services to interact with each other in the virtual universe according to a certain standard.

Why is the digital universe important?

If the digital universe becomes the future technology of humans as predicted, then who builds them first will become extremely important for the economy, society or even geopolitics.

Currently, Facebook is targeting this position when focusing on developing areas related to the digital universe, with the first target being virtual reality technology. In an interview, CEO Mark Zuckerberg explained his view that the “digital universe” will be popular on all social platforms today, from social networks to media, work or entertainment.

“People will see us as a digital space company instead of just a regular technology company,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg told The Verge.

Not only Facebook, many technology companies in Silicon Valley also pay attention to this segment. Microsoft Corporation has paid attention to the technology of transforming the digital universe while some game studios have even declared themselves as business companies in this segment. The popular children’s Roblox game or Epic Games’ Fortnite both have similar claims.

The tycoon’s strategy

Mark Zuckerberg’s decision to develop the digital universe shows the ambition of this corporation. If we look back at the previous example of Google when it changed its name to Alphabet, we will see that from a technology company specializing in the online search engine business, Google has successfully developed into both online video, commercial e-commerce, cloud computing…

Although Alphabet’s revenue still comes mainly from advertising on its search engine, revenue from YouTube and other businesses has also increased rapidly. According to Reuters news agency, ad revenue from YouTube increased 83.7% in the second quarter of 2021 from the same period a year ago, to $7 billion.

In fact, a corporation will begin to diversify when it has a monopoly in an area with abundant financial resources. Apple can freely develop many of its services based on the huge money from selling iPhones, Amazon can successfully open the cloud computing business thanks to its main business of e-commerce.

Ambition behind Facebook s decision to change its name Establishing a Digital Universe a dream Virtual Arena for Mark Zuckerberg | Technological iced tea

Image source: Business Insider

Similar to Facebook, once it has become a social media mogul and has begun to attract attention and attack, it needs to expand its business so as not to limit itself, and at the same time to reduce the risk of monopoly allegations. , invasion of privacy….

Impossible ambition?

Despite being a giant in the technology industry with abundant financial resources, whether Mark Zuckerberg can build his own “Virtual Arena” is still questionable. In fact, the technology related to the virtual universe is still in its infancy and it will take many years to reach the aforementioned characteristics.

According to Fast Company, the world’s largest social network still has a long way to go if it wants to successfully build a digital universe. Even the virtual reality technology that they are investing in is not really perfect. Design technology ensures high-quality glasses with unsurpassed long-term battery life.

Clearly, Facebook is yet another tech giant that’s committed to something they haven’t been able to accomplish. Many other companies are also developing virtual reality glasses like Google or Apple but they don’t need to make a big statement about it because there is still a long way to go.

So why is Facebook proud to announce it so early?

Ambition behind Facebook s decision to change its name Establishing a Digital Universe a dream Virtual Arena for Mark Zuckerberg | Technological iced tea

Image source: Business Insider

According to Fast Company, this could be a clever move to divert public opinion from the current accusations. Over the past time, Facebook’s image has deteriorated rapidly with a series of criticisms such as not tightly controlling content, manipulating information, invading privacy…

Plus, announcing early can help Facebook resonate in a new area even though they haven’t really made any significant breakthroughs. Later, users may remember Facebook as a pioneer in the digital universe, not Apple or Google.

Therefore, perhaps the “Virtual Arena” for CEO Mark Zuckerberg is probably still just a concept in the laboratory and users will have to wait many more years to understand what Facebook’s digital universe is like.

*Source: The Verge

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