Zuckerberg hits back at Metaverse Memes with new selfie

Celebrating Horizon Worlds expansion in Europe, Mark Zuckerberg posted his avatar against the backdrop of the Eifel Tower. However, the post misfired badly and sparked a meme to go viral entitled the 10 billion dollar selfie. People mocked the graphics and the plain avatar calling it lifeless. Fortune even said it made Zuckerberg into an “international laughing stock“.

Its been almost a year since Facebook changed its name and ignited interest into the Metaverse. Zuckerberg introduced his vision of a world enhanced by graphics that he called the Metaverse. The video that accompanied introduced a digital universe with holographic games and meetings. The selfie could be interrupted as a comment on the failure of Meta to deliver a futuristic Metaverse that it seemed to promise despite spending $10 billion last year. 

It’s the latest in a string of negative stories surrounding Meta’s Metaverse, including concerns over privacy, harassment, and technical problems that plagued concerts such as the Foo Fighters. Meta, the company previously known as Facebook, have had its share of controversy and the change of name seems to have done little to shake historical concerns. But Zuckerberg is fighting back by posting an enhanced selfie of his avatar and promising that Horizon Worlds is capable of better graphics, admitting the previous one was “pretty basic”.

Meta has built a suite of multiplayer VR interactive spaces, with Horizon Worlds being their social Metaverse. It allows the creation of other worlds by its users and features events and games. Horizons is a flagship product for the Oculus Quest 2 and is central to Meta’s strategy to sell advertising on the Metaverse. Creating a virtual reality Metaverse with building capabilities is some feat, and Meta, in many ways, is playing catch up still, all be it at an accelerated rate. VR platforms such as AltspaceVR and Somnium Space offer immersive graphical experiences through user-created content and have a loyal base of talented world builders that are territorial about their platform. Ultimately it is far too early in development to fully rate Horizons, but the expectation is so high for a futuristic experience alluded to in Zuckerberg’s videos. Meta needs to keep people hooked whilst the technology evolves.

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