Wiser! #43 (Premium): When Facebook, the world's largest social network, renames to "Meta", it positions the Metaverse as the Next Computing Platform, aka Web3, the next generation of the Internet.

The term "Metaverse" has been bubbling under for a while now, but it made front-page news this week when Mark Zuckerberg announced the rebranding of Facebook to Meta.  Even my mum has heard of the Metaverse now!

You may have wondered what's the big deal and why this story should be interested? The reason is that, for many, the Metaverse is the start of a new era for the Internet. For Facebook to make such a bold step is a huge bet that this next generation of the Internet will be the "next computing platform".

To be clear, the Metaverse is still a conceptual vision in many respects, but there is little doubt that it is coming in some shape or form. The other thing to note is that the Metaverse is not a singular entity or "a thing", any more than the Internet is not a singular thing. Nobody owns the Internet any more than any commercial enterprise (such as Facebook/Meta) will own the Metaverse.  

The Metaverse is a collective term for the next iteration of the Internet. And the narrative goes like this...

  • First, there was the WorldWideWeb. From the birth of the Internet through to the mod-noughties, the web was "passive", in that users merely read, received and consumed the information they found on web pages. It was one-way traffic.
  • Then we had the 2nd generation of the web from around 2005 up until the present day. This is the Internet we are using right now. This version 2.0 can be defined as interactive, engaging and responsive, thanks to social media and redefining the world of commerce.
  • The next era of the Internet, or Web3, is the so-called "Metaverse". The promise of the next generation of the Internet is to be immersive, tactile, interoperable and decentralised (don't worry about the jargon, it should make a little more sense by the end).

The latest digital technologies will come together to create new ways to interact with and experience the Internet. These technologies include;

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