Future of Facebook, NFTs, and the metaverse

Story by Liza Pringle, Opinion Editor

Everyone is familiar with Facebook. Everyone you know, even your grandma, probably uses Facebook. However, what happens when something as well-known as Facebook becomes not so recognizable? 

As of October 2021, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook is changing its company name to “Meta”. The rebranding of the well-known app came as a surprise to most. 

Created by Zuckerberg in 2004, Facebook has become the most used social media platform with more than 2.6 billion monthly active users. 

According to trustedreviews.com, Zuckerberg and several other Facebook employees claimed that the name change was implemented to “modernize the company,” and “make it more appealing” to investors and users. However, the main reason for the rebranding was due to the development of the “Metaverse”.

  The Metaverse is a virtual online world that incorporates elements of the real world to make it more true to life. According to theverge.com, Meta representatives describe the metaverse as “a set of virtual spaces where you can create and explore with other people who aren’t in the same physical space as you.”

Protocol.com says that Zuckerberg claims that his Metaverse is the future of the internet, which he hopes to be true, due to the fact that Zuckerberg has spent more than $10 billion in 2021 alone on the development of the Metaverse.

As of Jan 8, the Metaverse has officially been introduced to the public. Users 18 and over in the United States and Canada have free access to the program through a virtual reality app. 

All of this new information leads to a lot of questions. How does this program even work? What does the term “Metaverse” actually even mean?

 In order to get a better understanding of what the Metaverse actually is, try and think of it as a new version of the internet. The Metaverse is simply just a new network of different programs and virtual worlds, rather than a specific gadget or item of technology. This is extremely similar to the idea of the internet. The internet similarly has a wide network of different programs, rather than it being a single program or gadget.

Inside the Metaverse itself, you will be able to do a multitude of activities that mimic everyday life. “Users will be able to do things such as interact with avatar versions of people, obtain their own office jobs, and can buy and sell their own creations with several different cryptocurrencies,” says mercurynews.com.

Cryptocurrency will be a big part of the Metaverse, and the future of technology as a whole. There are several different types of cryptocurrency that can be used in the Metaverse. Some of these include: Ether (ETH), MANA, SAND, AXS, etc. “Users will be able to create their own digital wallet in which they can store their crypto earnings and can obtain non-fungible tokens (NFTs) or other pieces of property,” according to Outlookindia.com.

An NFT is one of the most recent cryptocurrencies to emerge into the public eye. NFTs are individual pieces of artwork or pictures that are one of a kind. Once a user purchases a specific NFT, they then have complete ownership of that specific token and can then buy other NFTs, sell their own or trade with other users. NFTs can be used to represent real world expenses, such as real estate, art or music. 

Photo Courtsey of Canva

NFTs can range from being a few hundred dollars to the most popular ones being a few million. The reason for this range of prices is due to each NFT’s popularity and originality. Each NFT cannot be replicated. This causes the most popular ones to be extremely valuable, because everyone wants it but not everyone can have ownership of it. 

NFTs are expected to have a major impact on the development of the Metaverse. The use of NFTs in the Metaverse will additionally allow users the ability to make avatars or virtual assets of their choice, which can be used to sell and gain value. 

Generally, Facebook’s name change and the overall development of the Metaverse has received a positive response from its users. Many people feel that the name change was long overdue, and that Facebook was slowly fading out. However, the rebrand completely altered the direction of the company, along with this new and improved technology. The new installments allow for Facebook to regain its popularity once again, and implement user’s excitement about new features to come.