Digital Assets: Facebook Announces Two-Year, $50M Investment To Responsibly Develop The Metaverse

September 28, 2021 | Digital Assets, News

“Metaverse” – a set of virtual spaces where you can create and explore with other people who aren’t in the same physical space as you.

Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) has announced XR Programs and Research Fund, a two-year $50 million investment in programs and external research to develop metaverse products responsibly. “The metaverse won’t be built overnight by a single company,” Facebook said in its announcement. “We’ll collaborate with policymakers, experts and industry partners to bring this to life.”

Reinventing Facebook for the metaverse

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in July: “I think we will effectively transition from people seeing us as primarily being a social media company to being a metaverse company.”

The metaverse created by the company is expected to work on its Oculus VR headsets, as well as on mobiles and gaming devices.

In its vision for development of the metaverse, the company plans to work with industry partners, civil rights groups, governments, nonprofits and academic institutions to visualize the contours, opportunities and issues that may arise.

It intends to ensure that metaverse technology develops in a manner that is inclusive and empowering.

“Many of these products will only be fully realized in the next 10-15 years,” Facebook wrote. “While that’s frustrating for those of us eager to dive right in, it gives us time to ask the difficult questions about how they should be built.”

Partnerships and independent research

Initially, Facebook will partner with organizations such as the Organization of American States; Africa No Filter, Electric South and Imisi3D; and Women In Immersive Tech.

The company also intends to facilitate independent external research with institutions including Seoul National University, University of Hong Kong (safety and ethics); Centre for Technology, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence & the Law at the Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore (privacy and data use); and Howard University (diversity in IT).

Related Story: Andreessen Horowitz’s Thesis – “Multiplayer Game Experiences are the Next Social Networks”

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