The Metaverse has been a hot topic lately, with Facebook and Microsoft making both claims. But what is the Metaverse? And when will it get here?

Facebook Meta - Metaverse

Facebook has announced that it will change the name of parent company Facebook to Meta to indicate that they are now really getting started with the Metaverse. What can we expect and, more importantly, when?

The foundation of the Metaverse

The term 'Metaverse' is not new. Author Neal Stephenson is credited with coining the term "Metaverse" in his 1992 science fiction novel "Snow Crash," in which he depicted real-life avatars meeting in realistic 3D buildings and other virtual reality environments. Since then, several developments have created milestones towards a true Metaverse. It goes further than most people can currently imagine.

What kind of Metaverse can we expect?

Metaverse is the internet of the future. It is an online virtual world, incorporating augmented reality, virtual reality, 3D holographic avatars, video and other means of communication. As the Metaverse expands, it offers a hyper-real alternate world for you to coexist. Principles of the Metaverse already exist in online game universes, such as Fortnite, Minecraft and Roblox. The companies behind these games have the ambition to be a part of the evolution of the Metaverse. It is a combination of multiple elements of technology, including virtual reality, augmented reality and video where users 'live' in a digital universe. Attending conferences, concerts and events or traveling around the world without leaving your home: it's all possible in the Metaverse.

What will it do to us?

The Metaverse has many proponents, but there are also detractors. Already, in times of lockdown, we see that more and more people are living completely online. They use the internet to keep in touch with others, but they no longer see others at all. People come closer together online, but all physical contact between people is lost. This can cause more people to become lonely, while the Metaverse can also help lonely people feel less lonely. So it just depends on how you look at it and what point of view you adopt. That the Metaverse is coming is one thing for sure.

When can we expect the Metaverse and will Facebook remain Facebook?

Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of the newly renamed Meta (formerly Facebook), estimates it could take five to 10 years for key features of the Metaverse to become mainstream. But, of course, aspects of the Metaverse already exist at this point. Ultra-fast broadband speeds, virtual reality headsets, and permanent always-on online worlds are already in use, even though they may not be accessible to everyone. It is Mark Zuckerberg's goal to make the Metaverse experience affordable for everyone, so everyone can participate.
Facebook will remain, certainly in the coming years, just the Facebook we are used to. There is just one important difference. In recent years, Facebook has grown and developed significantly. Several new functions were realized and companies were given more options. The speed of development will slow down. Mark Zuckerberg has indicated that he will no longer focus on Facebook and will fully focus on the Metaverse. Facebook will therefore no longer change and develop as much as before.


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