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Does anyone remember MySpace? That’s where everyone was once on the virtual landscape, and no one was paying much attention to a small platform called Facebook that was aimed at college students. Fast-forward a decade or so, Facebook had taken over the world, and MySpace had devolved into a cyber-boneyard in one of the fasted freefalls in virtual history. With everyone and their great-aunt on Facebook, the prevailing opinion for years has been that the platform was too big and too ingrained in global culture to die — after all, Facebook boasts over 3 billion active users and has been said to have influenced everything from First World elections to pet food purchases.

Yet Facebook is dead, even though it’s still stumbling around on the kind of reflex action that happens when someone cuts the head off a chicken and the body of the bird continues to reel about the barnyard for a time.

So what happened? A combination of variables factor into the cyber-behemoth’s demise. Some blame it on Mark Zuckerberg’s lack of general likeability and bloodless demeanor, while others feel that the platform has simply devolved into a dinosaur that doesn’t serve the social media needs of the emerging generations of users. Tarnished trust is part of the picture as well — it’s no secret that Zuckerberg has benefited greatly from selling Facebook users’ data without any concent, but bringing up the rear and sounding Facebook’s unmistakable death toll is a creature called Meta that doesn’t yet exist.

The Brave New Metaverse

Zuckerberg’s conquering new frontiers, and since the other billionaires have beat him to space, he’s set his sights on the metaverse instead. Still in the hypothesis stage, the metaverse is believed to be the next stage of the internet and will seamlessly blend virtual reality with the physical world. Examples include 3-D virtual workplaces, immersive field trips to anywhere at any point in history, and virtual versions of old-school brick and mortar retail spaces. Eventually, the technology will include something known as holography, which will allow users to virtually teleport to the destination of their choice, whether it’s a concert with friends, a romantic late lunch in a Paris cafe, or a cattle drive across the untamed American West at the early part of the 19th century.

Hoping to lead the bold charge into this new frontier, Zuckerberg has renamed his company “Meta.” So far, the embryonic metaverse resembles a turn-of-the-century video game more than digital technology’s emerging new frontier, but that’s expected to change in coming years. Zuckerberg isn’t the only one with his eyes on the future — Microsoft is also making initial forays into the brave new world of the metaverse.

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So What Now?

The social media platforms owned under the Meta brand, Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp will retain their traditional names, but moving forward, infusions of innovation and energy will be halfhearted at best and nonexistent at worst. They’ll still exist as the virtual equivalent of zombies for a time, but My Space has warmed up the welcome wagon and turned on the light for them.

The Brave New Metaverse

Zuckerberg’s conquering new frontiers, and since the other billionaires have beat him to space, he’s set his sights on the metaverse instead. Still in the hypothesis stage, the metaverse is believed to be the next stage of the internet and will seamlessly blend virtual reality with the physical world. Examples include 3-D virtual workplaces, immersive field trips to anywhere at any point in history, and virtual versions of old-school brick and mortar retail spaces. Eventually, the technology will include something known as holography, which will allow users to virtually teleport to the destination of their choice, whether it’s a concert with friends, a romantic late lunch in a Paris cafe, or a cattle drive across the untamed American West at the early part of the 19th century.

Hoping to lead the bold charge into this new frontier, Zuckerberg has renamed his company “Meta.” So far, the embryonic metaverse resembles a turn-of-the-century video game more than digital technology’s emerging new frontier, but that’s expected to change in coming years. Zuckerberg isn’t the only one with his eyes on the future — Microsoft is also making initial forays into the brave new world of the metaverse.

So What Now?

The social media platforms owned under the Meta brand, Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp will retain their traditional names, but moving forward, infusions of innovation and energy will be halfhearted at best and nonexistent at worst. They’ll still exist as the virtual equivalent of zombies for a time, but My Space has warmed up the welcome wagon and turned on the light for them.

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