Mark Zuckerberg’s meta-bankruptcy

In the last week different media have reported on the economic collapse of Mark Zuckerberg. It is estimated that in one year he has lost the equivalent of half his fortune, currently the value of Meta’s shares being the lowest since 2016. It has been said that this would be a consequence of the millions of dollars he has invested in the development of the metaverse, increasing the payroll, an issue that has made the business structure more expensive. This would be generating doubts among investors, which would jeopardize the plan of the creator of Facebook. But is it the end of one of the digital giants?

Zuckerberg’s vision reverses the adage “bread for today, hunger for tomorrow”, since the hunger that Metaverse experiences today is certainly focused on obtaining the bread of tomorrow: the metaverse. Although it seems contradictory to maintain the commitment announced at the end of 2020 (given the company’s low profits), it is not the first time in the history of technological development that the invention has been preceded by costs and expenses that cast doubt on the continuity of the Projects. On the contrary, what does not have comparable value is being that person who encounters innovation and is capable of offering something new to the world. And in that, I warn, the business vision of the North American CEO is directed.

Now, it has been said that the metaverse is the emerging technology that revolutionizes the use of the internet by allowing people to interact in real time in a digitally designed space. Meta’s million-dollar investment in this technology would be ruining the company’s coffers, given that, although it has provided metaversal spaces and the creation of hardware for its access, they have not achieved predominant use among users of their platforms. This would inevitably lead some critics to question Zuckerberg’s bet, ordering us to abandon the idea of ​​the metaverse and reserve it solely for the world of video games. However, that would be betting on bread for today, without risking and exploring this technological moment.

The diversity of devices enabled to use the Internet, the Smartphone being the main one, is a consequence of the relationship between people and the platforms, which, in turn, have improved their versions thanks to the continuous information provided by their users. As long as devices such as computers or smartphones predominate in homes, the metaverse will not make the leap to mass use. One way to reverse this situation and, therefore, accelerate the use of the metaverse in the population, is to adapt the development to different interfaces, which allows access to this technology through different devices. In other words, like the Internet, this digital support must consider products that have a practical reach for people and are close to the tools they have. The truth is that the metaverse is a way of using the Internet that must also assume the current situation of technological gaps and, therefore, experience its own transition.

An example of this is what we at Metaverso Chile call “augmented reality in real time”. Its use has different scopes, although we have noticed that in the educational field it is fully logical, since it allows the teacher to have digital resources that support the teaching work and that capture the attention of their students by using a tool that is used across the population. youthful, as is a telephone, no longer constituting a distraction element in the class, but a learning tool. Thus, a biology teacher could be immersed in a cell in the metaverse, and students will be able to observe in real time from their cell phones, having in unison with visual information reinforcing learning. This considerably increases the use of the metaverse, since it fits into a single access path, but instead inhabits the common logic proposed by the Internet, that is, the idea of ​​free access. This is the line that could boost Zuckerberg’s bet, at least our experience in Chile indicates that it is a correct and profitable path in different ways.

The digital transformation that the insurgency of this technology is generating certainly entails a cultural transformation to which we must adjust our expectations. History –and with different examples– tells us that changes are not overnight, especially when it comes to paradigm shifts like the ones we are facing. And it is that to the extent that the ideal technological devices for the metaverse multiply, hunger will cease and bread will arrive.

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Mark Zuckerberg’s meta-bankruptcy