Facebook changes its name to Meta and metaverse pioneers are unimpressed

Facebook Metaverse

Early adopters of the metaverse, or virtual worlds, slammed the major rebranding by Facebook as an attempt to cash in on growing interest in a technology it didn’t invent.

This year, the term “metaverse” has become a digital buzzword, with businesses and investors eager to be a part of the next big thing. Users, on the other hand, have been spending time in these rapidly increasing but obscure virtual worlds for years.

Facebook’s name changes to Meta Platforms, as well as details on its intention to create its own immersive digital world, were unveiled on Thursday, as the company faces increased scrutiny from lawmakers and regulators over its market power, algorithmic judgments, and policing of abuses on its platforms.

Users can move around as an avatar, meet friends, and play games in virtualization. Some of the blockchain-based platforms also allow users to speculate on virtual real estate.

“I believe Facebook did this early name change to basically acquire the new trademark legally as soon as possible as more brands show interest,” said Pranksy, a UK-based crypto investor who purchased virtual world real estate in early 2020.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s announcement of the rebrand felt “rushed… kind of like attempting to inject themselves into the metaverse narrative that is unfolding right now,” according to Artur Sychov, who launched metaverse Somnium Space in 2017.

Sychov, along with 1,000 to 2,000 other daily users, spends up to five hours a day in Somnium Space.

Facebook’s approach may face criticism from metaverse users who are wary of the company’s control over content, according to Dave Carr, communications head at the nonprofit that operates the virtual world Decentral and.

“People who want to control the future of the virtual worlds they inhabit, keep ownership of their creative output, and move freely between them will choose the decentralized version,” he said, referring to Decentral and’s metaverse environment as decentralized and Facebook’s plan as likely centralized.

Decentral and, which was launched in 2017 and today has over 7,000 daily users, views itself as a competitor to traditional social media platforms that sell user data and control what users see.

Many extant metaverse platforms are built on blockchain technology, which eliminates the possibility of central control. The distributed-ledger architecture that underpins cryptocurrencies is known as blockchain. People in these virtual worlds buy land and other digital goods with cryptocurrency in the form of non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

Early metaverse adopters, on the other hand, did not all have a negative reaction. Some speculated that Facebook’s entrance will increase interest in virtual worlds in general, attracting more users and facilitating the creation of various virtual worlds.

Tristan Littlefield, co-founder of NFT business nft42 and a metaverse member since 2018, said his initial reaction to Facebook announcement was negative since he dislikes the corporation’s data-selling practices.

However, he believes that “having a giant like Facebook come in and just spend billions of dollars” could be a beneficial because of the additional people it would attract to the field.

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