Why does Mark Zuckerberg believe the metaverse is the future?

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Main topic: Tech
Short answer:
  • Zuckerberg believes that the metaverse is the next "chapter of the internet."
  • He has suggested that "immersive digital worlds [will] become the primary way that we live our lives and spend our time."

Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder and CEO of Meta, wrote in 2021 when Facebook rebranded to Meta Platforms[1][2]:

We’ve gone from desktop to web to mobile; from text to photos to video. But this isn’t the end of the line. The next platform will be even more immersive — an embodied internet where you’re in the experience, not just looking at it. We call this the metaverse, and it will touch every product we build.

In 2022, on the Lex Fridman podcast, Zuckerberg suggested that he believe we will one day spent most of our lives on the metaverse[3]:

A lot of people think that the metaverse is about a place, but one definition of this is it's about a time when basically immersive digital worlds become the primary way that we live our lives and spend our time.

Metaverse is a real fantasy world, where everyone can interact with the real world[edit]

The metaverse is a virtual environment where users may communicate with one another using avatars and AR/VR devices. The metaverse is a parallel virtual reality that encompasses all digital technology and will eventually rule a large portion of the real world. Even while the Internet is robust, extensive, and powerful, it wasn't designed for live, interactive events involving many of people especially when it comes to 3-D images. Instead, one static file (like an email or spreadsheet) might be duplicated and transmitted from one device to another over the internet, allowing for independent and asynchronous viewing and modification.[4]

Furthermore, there is no agreement on 3D information protocols or file formats, and there are no established mechanisms for exchanging data in virtual environments. Additionally, everyone needs the computational power needed to implement the metaverse as Zuckerberg has envisioned it. And to make it a reality, everyone will need a ton of new technology—not only VR headsets, but also holographic displays, ultrasonic force-field generators, and—as unsettling as it may sound—devices to record electrical impulses sent through muscles.[5]

The platforms that run tens of millions of linked worlds, offer a consistent virtual identity, virtual products, and communications suites, and can be accessed from most devices. The majority of time on these platforms is used for pleasure activities like gaming and concerts, but we are beginning to see individuals use them for more serious activities.[6]

Metaverse can strengthen practical knowledge in virtual and hybrid contexts[edit]

We have long anticipated that the digital age would reshape education, but it has so far resisted this change. The gateway to the metaverse is the newest generation of virtual reality (VR) headsets. VR headsets immerse the senses and provide an unparalleled sensation of embodied presence. Users may freely roam about a 3D scene and interact with the environment with their hands, exactly as they would in real life.

VR activates the motor center of the brain and develops muscle memory. VR can teach everything, from agricultural skills to firefighting, in the same way that a flight simulator trains pilots for emergency landings. Spatial training, such as using the hands and body for activities that are too risky, costly, inconvenient, or just impossible to perform in real life, is one skill that plays to the particular strengths of the metaverse.[7]

The metaverse offers an opportunity for experiential learning and embodied skilling by simulating real-world settings and high-pressure conditions and allowing users to learn from their errors without any negative repercussions. When it's done well, the combination of virtual reality (VR), data science, and spatial design lead to improvements in learner engagement, confidence, and application.[8]

Accessibility can be improved for the disabled through the metaverse[edit]

There is hope that persons with impairments will have better access to educational and social opportunities with the introduction of the metaverse. For instance, young adults with special needs, autism, or problems with social interaction can improve their interpersonal and job skills by participating in immersive environments, such as by going to a shopping mall or grocery store, shelving products in a store, or loading goods into a truck. Other examples of immersive environments include virtual reality and augmented reality. They don't have to worry about feeling overwhelmed or frightened since they can practice their abilities and engage with others in a controlled setting thanks to VR applications. Virtual reality (VR) has the potential to enhance the quality of life for those with mobility or anxiety concerns.[9]

Metaverse can collect more data of any individual more effective than before[edit]

When organizations use the metaverse to create immersive learning experiences for their learners, they are able to collect hitherto underutilized data to gain insights into learner behavior. These insights can then be used to track learner progress, identify learning gaps, and continuously improve the learning experience. Data about learner activities such as use, performance, focus and engagement, sentiment, and predictive modeling are all useful pieces of information. Teachers also have the opportunity to take a more active part in the process of data collection and lesson analysis about the efficacy of such settings for learning. For instance, Pfizer, Novartis, and Bristol-Myers Squibb's pharma simulators all include the capability to monitor the user's hand motions. The simulation will instantly offer feedback and restart if the user crosses their hands or angles them in the incorrect direction while working underneath the biosafety cabinet. Every digital footprint can be monitored, and a dashboard displaying telemetry data may reveal insights that can be put into action to make the simulation experience better.[10]

The incredible opportunities that exist within the medical world in the metaverse[edit]

Telemedicine can be more effective, patients will be no longer restricted to being treated by just certain physicians based on their geographical location thanks to the use of telemedicine consultations, especially those that are conducted using VR. Therapy is yet another field in which it may be used to very effective effect. Aversion therapy, in which patients can interact with situations that cause them anxiety, is already being used by psychologists and psychiatrists. Patients can do so in safe environments where every perspective of communication can be closely monitored and controlled. Environments can be personalized to each patient. Virtual reality (VR) is already being used in aversion therapy.[11]

In the metaverse, medical providers will be able to provide better-coordinated treatment plans and packages, unencumbered by the compartmentalized nature that characterizes a significant portion of the current healthcare system. If physicians were able to immediately share information with one another, it would imply that the underlying reasons for poor health might be discovered more quickly. Monitoring a patient's activities in the metaverse enables more straightforward tracking of important aspects like compliance, which, in turn, helps medical professionals diagnose and treat sickness more effectively.[12]

Many are skeptical of Zuckerberg's metaverse vision, including employees[edit]

A significant percentage of Meta employees are skeptical about the metaverse vision, according to the New York Times.[13] Internally, management has tried to enforce VR meetings, but many employees still prefer to use traditional video chat technologies such as Zoom.

Illustration of a dystopic metaverse.

Meta is losing $12B+ a year on the metaverse[edit]

As of Q3 2022, Meta's metaverse division Reality Labs has lost $12.7 billion over the previous four quarters.[14] As a standalone company, Reality would be one of the largest money-losers in the world.

Facebook Q3 2022 results.

Even with increasing losses at Reality Labs, Meta capital expenditures have been increasing. Year-to-date capital expenditures have increased 66%, from $13.7 billion to $22.8 billion.

Meta Q3 2022 capital expenditures.

Altimeter Capital suggested a cut to $5B a year[edit]

On 24 October 2022, Altimeter Capital CEO Brad Gerstner wrote an open letter to Meta suggesting the company to trim its metaverse investments to a maximum of $5 billion a year.[15] Meta has not responded to the letter.

Section of Altimeter Capital's open letter to Meta.


  1. "Founder's Letter, 2021". Meta. 2021-10-28. Retrieved 2022-10-27.
  2. "The Facebook Company Is Now Meta". Meta. 2021-10-28. Retrieved 2022-10-27.
  3. Morrison, Ryan (2022-03-03). "Mark Zuckerberg claims we will all 'live' in the metaverse". Mail Online. Retrieved 2022-10-27.
  4. "8 things you can't do in the metaverse: A look into this new virtual world". The Indian Express. 2022-09-17. Retrieved 2022-10-28.
  5. Lee, Lik-Hang; Braud, Tristan; Zhou, Pengyuan; Wang, Lin; Xu, Dianlei; Lin, Zijun; Kumar, Abhishek; Bermejo, Carlos; Hui, Pan (2021-11-03). "All One Needs to Know about Metaverse: A Complete Survey on Technological Singularity, Virtual Ecosystem, and Research Agenda". Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  6. Dwivedi, Yogesh K.; Hughes, Laurie; Baabdullah, Abdullah M.; Ribeiro-Navarrete, Samuel; Giannakis, Mihalis; Al-Debei, Mutaz M.; Dennehy, Denis; Metri, Bhimaraya; Buhalis, Dimitrios; Cheung, Christy M. K.; Conboy, Kieran (2022-10-01). "Metaverse beyond the hype: Multidisciplinary perspectives on emerging challenges, opportunities, and agenda for research, practice and policy". International Journal of Information Management. 66: 102542. doi:10.1016/j.ijinfomgt.2022.102542. ISSN 0268-4012.
  7. "Education Meets the Metaverse: Reimagining the Future of Learning | World Bank Group". olc.worldbank.org. Retrieved 2022-10-28.
  8. Wartella, Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, Jennifer M. Zosh, Helen Shwe Hadani, Roberta Michnick Golinkoff, Kevin Clark, Chip Donohue, and Ellen (2022-02-14). "A whole new world: Education meets the metaverse". Brookings. Retrieved 2022-10-28.
  9. Dudley, John; Kristensson, Per Ola; Garaj, Vanja. "Five ways the metaverse could be revolutionary for people with disabilities". The Conversation. Retrieved 2022-10-28.
  10. "The metaverse and consumer data: here's what you need to know". The Drum. Retrieved 2022-10-28.
  11. "Healthcare companies are entering the metaverse. But can it help the sector?". Business Today. 2022-06-22. Retrieved 2022-10-28.
  12. "Rise of Metaverse in Healthcare". www.taliun.com. 2021-08-24. Retrieved 2022-10-28.
  13. Mac, Ryan; Frenkel, Sheera; Roose, Kevin (2022-10-10). "Skepticism, Confusion, Frustration: Inside Mark Zuckerberg's Metaverse Struggles". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2022-10-27.
  14. "Meta Q3 2022 Earnings Presentation" (PDF). Retrieved 2022-10-27.
  15. Gerstner @altcap, Brad (2022-10-24). "Time to Get Fit — an Open Letter from Altimeter to Mark Zuckerberg (and the Meta Board of…". Medium. Retrieved 2022-10-27.