Facebook creates a new product group to build Zuckerberg's metaverse
In an interview with The Verge last week, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed to the world his grand plan of transitioning Facebook from a social media company into a metaverse company. The plan appears to have swung into action since Facebook has announced that it will create a new product team to work on the metaverse. Here are more details.
New product group will be part of Facebook Reality Labs
For the uninitiated, a metaverse is a virtual universe that one can experience and share with others in real-time. Think of it as the amalgamation of social media, augmented reality (AR), and virtual reality (VR). In a recent Facebook post, the company's VP of AR and VR Andrew Bosworth shared that the new team will be a part of Facebook Reality Labs.
Instagram's Vishal Shah to lead the new Metaverse product group
Facebook Reality Labs was in the news earlier this year for creating a wrist-worn prototype device to interact with AR systems. This wing of the social media giant is also responsible for the Oculus and Portal range of products. Interestingly, Bosworth shared that Instagram's executive in charge of product, Vishal Shah, will be leading the new Facebook Metaverse product group.
Oculus and Facebook Gaming universes will be fused for starters
According to Bosworth's post, Facebook believes that with Oculus products, Facebook Gaming, it is already halfway done creating a metaverse. The company will first be focusing efforts on weaving the two universes together. For this, the new product group will onboard Vivek Sharma and Jason Rubin from Facebook Gaming. Before his current role, Rubin was the VP of Content at Oculus.
While Rubin will serve as the Head of Content for Facebook's Metaverse product, Sharma will work with him to expand Facebook Gaming's capabilities to intertwine with the Metaverse. Additionally, in the comments section of his post, Bosworth shared a link using which people could apply for jobs in Facebook's AR/VR team. Some roles are directly linked to Reality Labs and Facebook Gaming.
Has Facebook bitten off more than it can chew?
It is now evident that Zuckerberg is serious about the metaverse. It remains to be seen how Facebook will sculpt the product given its sketchy track record managing user data, and the ongoing lawsuits and inquiries by various state departments. A metaverse could be the next step for social media, but are Big Tech companies the only ones that can build it?