One year and $10 billion later, Metaverse still hasn’t clicked.
On Nov. 5, the social-networking company launched its massively ambitious, super-profitable virtual-world creation experiment, but within a week, Facebook — which has been the biggest user of Metaverse for years — pulled out of the initiative after announcing that it would focus on growing its own existing business. Other companies, including Twitter and AOL, joined Facebook’s rival Social capital and other social-network companies in leaving.
And despite the company’s best marketing efforts — Metaverse is designed to be a place for people to meet and greet, find jobs, play online games, and browse the Web — nothing has changed. Metaverse now ranks in No. 2 behind Facebook for online usage among U.S. adults. The company can’t explain itself any better than when the social network first announced its intention to be an early version of the future by developing a virtual social world.
Instead, Metaverse has a story, and Metaverse isn’t about to change anytime soon. Here’s a rundown of what the company has accomplished already, what’s happened since its first launch, and what it expects to happen if it succeeds this time around.
What happened, and what’s happened since
In March 2009, at a company conference in Las Vegas, Michael Rose, the company’s then-chief executive, announced that Metaverse would be a “social network… that allows people to meet and greet, find jobs, play online games, and browse the Web.”
Rose later said his goal was “to create… a virtual world… that will allow people to meet and greet, find jobs, play online games and browse the Web.”
Facebook was formed in 2004 as a “social-networking” site that helped users create “social networks” with their friends, who then provided the social networking technology. The most famous example: MySpace, which was one of the first successful social networks. In 2004, MySpace’s users created more than 20 million profiles and spent more than 1 billion minutes on the site.