The Metaverse Hits An Impasse

The Metaverse Hits An Impasse

by , Staff Writer, August 31, 2022

About a year ago, Facebook announced a pivot. Facebook would rename itself Meta and the focus would be on “bringing the metaverse to life and help people connect, find communities and grow businesses.”

Right now, it appears that the metaverse has hit an impasse, defined by the following:

Vivek Sharma left. Sharma, vice president of Meta’s Horizon team, left the post after a year at the position. With Sharma gone, the team will report to Vishal Shah, Meta’s vice president of metaverse.

The metaverse hasn’t replaced Zoom, and likely won’t. A Washington Post story notes that many VR companies don’t meet in VR for work meetings and instead use Zoom. The report notes that some employers don’t want to force their employees to get a Facebook account and weren’t comfortable with their data flowing through Facebook.

Mark Zuckerberg has had few PR wins. From his disappointing appearance on The Joe Rogan Podcast, where he unconvincingly professed to be a gym rat, to an image of Zuckerberg’s “blocky, dead-eyed visage taken from his Metaverse avatar,” (in the words of CNN), Zuckerberg has been the opposite of an effective leader, causing those who are dubious about the metaverse to harden their stance.

The graphics for the metaverse aren’t up to 2022 standards. When Zuckerberg posted an image of his digital avatar, critics swooped in. One tweet compared the avatar to Sims 1 and noted that Facebook had spent $10 billion on it, quipping “Stay in school, kids.”

Some high-level tech people are skeptical. Elon Musk is a metaverse skeptic, tweeting that it’s a “marketing buzzword.” Phil Spencer, head of the Xbox brand and CEO of Microsoft’s gaming department, said there’s nothing new about the Metaverse and the underlying technology has been around for 30 years.

For example: The metaverse hasn’t replaced Zoom, and likely won’t.