Let’s Dive Into the Metaverse. Don’t Forget Your Goggles


LG: Mike, what is your favorite part of the metaverse?

MC: It’s the part where you log off and go outside.

LG: I wish I could disagree, but I can’t. I agree, wholeheartedly. Well, for the sake of this podcast though, can we maybe just step into the metaverse for a little bit?

MC: All right. Let me put on my Oculus glasses and I’ll be right there.

LG: All right. Activated.

[Gadget Lab intro theme music plays.]

LG: Hey, everyone. Welcome to the metaverse. I mean, welcome to Gadget Lab. I’m Lauren Goode. I’m a senior writer at WIRED.

MC: And I’m Michael Calore. I’m a senior editor at WIRED.

LG: We’re also joined in the metaverse by WIRED senior writer Arielle Pardes, who joins us from … where are you, Arielle?

Arielle Pardes: Does it really matter in 2021 where we are, if we’re all in the metaverse?

LG: No, you could be anywhere right now. You could be in a forest. You could be in Oakland. You could be in Nazare.

AP: Let’s just say I’m inside of the mind of Mark Zuckerberg.

LG: Well, we’re talking about Facebook again. In case you haven’t been refreshing your newsfeed this week, there’s a lot of news out of Facebook. They had their annual software developers conference, held virtually on Thursday. We saw a bunch of new stuff that is supposed to enable developers to build things for this idea of the metaverse. We heard a little bit more about Mark Zuckerberg’s vision for what the metaverse will look like. And we heard about Facebook’s name change. I don’t even know if we should be calling it Facebook right now. Arielle, what are we supposed to be calling Facebook? Tell us about this.

AP: The company formerly known as Facebook is now called Meta, as in metaverse, as in a metastasizing cancer, as AOC tweeted today. This is supposed to signal that the company is not just a social media company anymore. It’s not just the News Feed. It’s not just Instagram. It’s in fact a company. And that’s all about the metaverse.

LG: Back up just a little bit, because earlier this week, Facebook reported its third-quarter earnings, and it talked about how it was going to break apart some of the top line for another one of its divisions, right? So there are all these different products and divisions of Facebook, tell us how that works and how it’s going to be broken out now.

AP: The Facebook that you know right now, which Facebook sometimes calls the family of apps—Instagram, WhatsApp, Oculus, stuff like that—is now going to be broken into this division that it calls the Family of Apps. On the other hand, it has this new thing called Facebook Reality Labs, which is the new home for all of its products that deal with the metaverse and whatever else the future of computing looks like.



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