The Verge's Interview With Mark Zuckerberg About The Metaverse

After Facebook’s 2nd Quarter earnings call where Mark Zuckerberg laid out his intentions for Facebook to develop a metaverse, Casey Newton of the Verge was able to track him down to do an interview which I highly recommend reading.

Mark and Casey go into more detail on how Mark Zuckerberg defines what the metaverse is and what Facebook’s plans are to develop one.

“Our overarching goal across all of these initiatives is to help bring the metaverse to life.” – Mark Zuckerberg

“You can think about the metaverse as an embodied internet, where instead of just viewing content – you are in it. And you feel present with other people as if you were in other places, having different experiences that you couldn’t necessarily do on a 2D app or webpage, like dancing, for example, or different types of fitness.” – Mark Zuckerberg

The metaverse will be accessible across all different platforms that include PC, game consoles, mobile devices and AR/VR.

Here is how Mark describes what he wants the metaverse to feel like: “What virtual and augmented reality can do, and what the metaverse broadly is going to help people experience, is a sense of presence that I think is just much more natural in the way that we’re made to interact. And I think it will be more comfortable. The interactions that we have will be a lot richer, they’ll feel real. In the future, instead of just doing this over a phone call, you’ll be able to sit as a hologram on my couch, or I’ll be able to sit as a hologram on your couch, and it’ll actually feel like we’re in the same place, even if we’re in different states or hundreds of miles apart.”

It isn’t known yet if people are going to be comfortable wanting to wear a VR headset all day long to participate in the metaverse but there will be multiple evolutions that Mark says will take place over the next 10 years that will make the metaverse become the main way that people work.

Mark says that the biggest technological challenge that Facebook’s industry will face in the next 10 years is putting a supercomputer into a pair of glasses.

Here is what Mark Zuckerberg had to say about doing meetings in the metaverse, “The other area that I think is going to be pretty exciting is basically doing meetings. And I already do a bunch of meetings in VR. Even though the avatars aren’t as realistic today as they will be in a few years, in a lot of ways it already feels almost more real, and more like you have a sense of space, than a Zoom call, because you have the shared sense of space. So if someone is sitting to your right, you’re sitting to their left. If you’re sitting in a circle, everyone can kind of remember what order people were in.”

There are a lot more guys than girls participating in virtual reality and this gender skew can cause issues because it can lead to harassment. Mark believes that Facebook has done a better job at solving some of these possible issues than other gaming companies by giving its users tools that make it easier to block people.

Inequality is a big issue today. Raj Chetty did some interesting research which shows that the zip code that you were born and raised in is highly correlated with what your future mobility and income are going to be.

Mark wonders whether the people who are working remotely will really have the same opportunities as the people who are physically working in person with others.

Mark wants the metaverse to have a sense of portability and interoperability where users can take their avatars, friends and digital goods and transport them seamlessly to a different experience in the metaverse. Making a more open and interoperable metaverse is a goal for Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook.

“You have your avatar and your digital goods, and you want to be able to teleport anywhere. You don’t want to just be stuck within one company’s stuff.” – Mark Zuckerberg on portability and interoperability