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A Perspective on Meta's Metaverse Creation Efforts
Metaverse market leadership is not guaranteed
Welcome to Letters by Into The Metaverse where we provide extra commentary, analysis and ideas about the Metaverse.
Being one the biggest companies in the world and the largest social media platform, we give incredible level of attention to what Meta is doing, and investing in, when it comes to the Metaverse, especially given the decline of its share price in the past 12 months.
The reality is that while the company became the category leader of social media through brilliant acquisitions (WhatsApp, Instagram) as well as successfully re-designing its original apps for the mobile era (Facebook, Messenger), the story of the Metaverse is estimated to be quite different. Being the juggernaut that it is, acquisition is no longer a viable strategy for Meta to cement a category leadership in the future of the Internet. The regulator will simply not allow that to happen. I was interviewed by Derek Robertson at Politico about the relationship between Meta and Washington - Robertson writes:
“The government and the tech industry could potentially be at a breaking point… or at least a very low point in a relationship that for years was pretty hands-off for both sides. But there’s also potential for a reset, according to Yonatan Raz Fridman, founder and CEO of metaverse games company Supersocial and co-host of “Into the Metaverse” podcast… The reset he’s talking about would be driven by the metaverse, a potential new online environment requiring massive amounts of investment and cooperation, and whose rules simply haven’t been written yet. Raz Fridman is something of a metaverse evangelist who claims that the virtual world is not just a business opportunity, but also has the potential to shake up how government and industry get along.”
“It makes a lot of sense for these companies to look at the emergence of the metaverse as the next iteration of the internet,” he says, “and take advantage of that to cement a new narrative with consumers and with Washington.”
This explains why Meta is investing billions every year in building a new computing platform that will compete with the ambition of Apple (and other big technology companies). That being said, not only that we’re very early in the journey of realizing the Metaverse, it remains unclear what exactly it will look like, how or when exactly it will emerge, and who are going to be the winners.
Does Meta have a shot at building a huge Metaverse business? Of course.
Should we assume that it’s going to be an easy ride for Meta? Absolutely not.
There are many companies that are taking a shot at helping to realize the Metaverse, and build for it once it’s here - both established enterprises (Nvidia, Apple, Disney) and emerging ones (Roblox, Unity, Epic Games), as well as hundreds of startups that are being built every day.
On my interview with Politico I continued:
“There’s a new wave of creators with a very different perspective from those of the Web2 era,” said Raz Fridman, alluding to Web3 proponents’ frequently disruptive, almost hostile attitude toward existing tech institutions. “This is going to be a constant struggle and a point of friction… you can’t truly take away the ‘Facebook’ from the ‘Meta’.”
It was an incredible, one of a kind, accomplishment of Meta has built over the past 15 years. It’s a whole new story for what it will accomplish in the next 15 years. Building and maintaining a market leadership position in the Metaverse era is not guaranteed at all for Meta, and it’s unclear if Meta will even be among the top 3 companies that lead the space. Nonetheless, as an entrepreneur and company builder, seeing Zuck’s relentless pursue of Meta’s Metaverse ambition is admirable.
While many (including myself) are not impressed with Horizon Worlds current efforts, it does seem like new developments are taking shape in Meta’s Reality Labs that will potentially introduce a more compelling translation of its vision for the Metaverse.
Our mission is to become the leading destination to learn about the Metaverse - what it is, why it’s important, how it will impact our lives, and what opportunities it unlocks. We are pursuing this mission by producing and publishing reliable, insightful and entertaining podcast shows that help make sense of the Metaverse.