According to news on October 31, the social network giant Facebook has changed its name to Meta, thus demonstrating its determination to enter the “meta universe” field.However, the newly disclosed documents show that Oculus executive Jason Rubin (Jason Rubin) had proposed the meta-universe plan as early as 2018 and sent it to relevant executives and board members. This promoted Facebook’s subsequent acquisitions and laid the foundation for its transformation.
In June 2018, Rubin sent an email titled “The Metaverse” to Marc Andreessen, a member of Meta’s board of directors. In this 50-page document, Rubin outlined the strategy for building the meta-universe. He wrote in the first slide: “We believe that to break the consumer’s indifference to virtual reality (VR), the right way It is to provide the medium they expect and want-the meta universe.”
This three-year-old document laid the foundation for Meta’s future ambitions. On Thursday, US local time, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg (Mark Zuckerberg) conducted an hour-long presentation and finally announced the name of the new company. This presentation aims to portray a virtual world that is completely different from the real world. Facebook is facing a steady stream of negative news that is related to the addictive nature of its social media products.
Zuckerberg told the audience that the company sees Metaverse as the next frontier of technology, where people will live, work and play. However, he admits that it will take 5 to 10 years for Metaverse to become mainstream. Just a few days before Zuckerberg delivered the above-mentioned speech, Meta announced in the financial report that the hardware division Reality Labs will independently release financial results from the fourth quarter.
The document Rubin sent to Anderson in 2018 now looks like the first draft of history. It imagines users floating in the digital universe of virtual advertising, filled with virtual goods people buy. People will get married in the meta universe and spend as little time as possible in the so-called “Meatverse”, which refers to the real world, because human beings are flesh and blood. Rubin used words like “shocking and awe-inspiring” 12 times to describe the experience people want.
Picture: Mark Anderson, partner of Andreessen Horowitz, a well-known venture capital firm in Silicon Valley
For Rubin, Anderson’s role is very critical, not only because he has served on the Facebook board of directors since 2008, but also because he has a very large influence in this particular field. Through Andreessen Horowitz, a well-known venture capital firm in Silicon Valley, Andreessen was an early supporter of Oculus and also invested in Roblox. Roblox is a game platform for children, focusing on building its own meta-universe.
Rubin also sent the document to Facebook’s hardware department head Andrew Bosworth (Andrew “Boz” Bosworth) and the vice president of VR business Hugo Barra (Hugo Barra). Bosworth was promoted to Chief Technology Officer in July this year (starting to perform his duties next year). People familiar with the sharing of the document were not authorized to discuss the relevant matters, but Rubin confirmed the validity of the document in an interview on Friday.
Rubin wrote in the title of the first chapter of the document: “The meta-universe is an area where we might lose.” He went on to say that Facebook began to consider the concept of the meta-universe as a way to attract ordinary consumers. , Because VR has not been widely welcomed.
According to this document, Facebook bought Oculus for $2 billion in 2014. As of June 2018, the company’s VR headsets have accumulated 250,000 monthly active players. But Rubin wrote that despite the hundreds of millions of dollars invested in content for “early adopters and pioneers,” these devices have not been popular with non-hardcore gamers. “Ordinary consumers are waiting for VR to be’fully mature’. That day.”
Rubin also said: “We think that’full maturity’ means meta-universe. Only with such a large-scale release can it attract the attention of VR doubters and potential VR users.”
Rubin’s current title in Meta is Vice President of Metaverse Content. He said that his paper has been widely circulated, but he is not the only article that has attracted attention. He said on Friday: “At that time, many people had a vision for the meta universe, and various documents were filled with different opinions. I want to promote my ideas. This is how we create things on Facebook. My There are a lot of ideas in the paper, and a lot of people are excited, and I hope there are some useful things in it.”
“We must act first”
Rubin predicted in the paper that the meta-universe project may be completed within four years, and Facebook may act alone. But he now realizes that this will take more time, and Meta will have to cooperate with many companies instead of owning and controlling the entire meta-universe system.
Rubin, a former executive in the video game industry, said: “This is another way for us to expand our thinking. We have to collaborate with others, and we have to take many steps to build the meta-universe, because it will take a long time. .”
When writing the above paper, Rubin stated that he was not sure how much time Facebook would spend to build the meta-universe. He only knows that the most important thing is to “go all out” and stand out from the competition. He wrote: “The first meta-universe to gain true attraction is also likely to be the last. We must act first to become bigger and stronger, otherwise we may become one of those followers.”
Rubin said that Facebook has the potential to effectively combine Google,AppleCompetitors such as Sony, HTC and Valve are excluded from the VR market, adding that Sony is focused on PlayStation 5, HTC is dissatisfied with its potential hardware partners, and Facebook’s investment exceeds Steam’s manufacturer Valve. The document said: “Google and Apple have not really existed in the VR space yet, Daydream (the VR platform that Google shut down) is a joke.”
At the time, Rubin was not keen on cooperating with others. He said in the document that it does not make sense to work closely with other potential competitors, because Facebook should be the place where all users look for virtual experiences. He wrote: “We don’t use plans to help other platforms accumulate and retain consumers to build the meta-universe. We build the meta-universe ourselves so that we can prevent competitors from getting involved in the VR business in a meaningful way.”
However, Rubin emphasized on Friday that the company has abandoned this approach, and the plan is to make Metaverse interoperable and open, rather than “restricted to a certain company.”
A Meta spokesperson stated in an email statement that technology has been evolving since 2018, and the focus at the time was mainly on VR. The company stated that it always expectsMicrosoft, Google, Apple, Sony, Roblox and many other companies. The spokesperson said: “What is certain is: investing in and building products that consumers want is the key to success; we cannot build the metaverse alone; cooperation with developers, creators and experts will be crucial.”
Priya is married
In a chapter of the document, Rubin outlines a scenario: a fictitious user named Priya visits the metaverse. Priya entered the virtual city with bowling alleys, shops, theaters, and Facebook pavilions. The latter was described as the “largest building” and occupies the main place of the square almost like a church.
Priya can interact with other people and use meta universe currency to pay for her avatar’s new hairstyle. Priya eventually met another user who looked like a green ogre with warts. But they finally got married. Rubin wrote: “Like in the real world, Priya works, eats, socializes and sleeps in the metaverse. Her entertainment time is increasingly spent in virtual environments, thanks to Netflix, Integration of Facebook, Instagram and other meta-universes.”
Rubin said that ten years after this hypothesis, the company’s Meta universe hardware sales will reach 100 million units, of which 50% are Oculus brand or authorized devices, and the rest will come from other hardware manufacturers.
Pictured: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Olympic gold medal fencers fencing in a live broadcast of the meta universe, when he announced that Facebook was renamed Meta
In 20 years, the time people spend in the meta-universe may betelevision”Compared with the use of Facebook in recent years”. He wrote that the most important thing for Facebook is that “after deducting developer expenditures, the annual net income will reach billions of dollars.” These incomes come from virtual real estate and hats. Sales of, weapons and status symbols.
In addition, advertising can also bring more revenue, which is the market that Facebook knows best. Rubin imagined Coca-Cola paying for the prime location of the pavilion, Ford paying for the availability of virtual cars, or P&G promoting its brand on digital billboards. Gucci can open a virtual store, and Comcast will be willing to pay to display huge advertising signs.
Rubin wrote: “If the metaverse is where people are willing to kill time, then it is where the real economy wants to go. Our goal is to bring the metaverse to this stage. In short, it doesn’t look like Facebook’s product.”
Considering this deep immersion, Rubin estimates that 100 million users of the universe may bring more revenue than the real world with 1 billion users. The document reads: “I may log in to Facebook multiple times a day, but I will live and work in the meta-universe, and may prefer the time spent in the meta-universe.”
Rubin wrote that to be successful, the metaverse must be exciting, it must be ambitious, full of thousands of hours of gameplay, and completely change lives, so that Facebook engineers are terrified of the problems they face. He said: “If the delivered meta-universe does not scare us away, then it is not the meta-universe we should build, nor is it what the customer wants, because it is meaningless. Anything else is a mini-universe.”
Rubin wrote that building all this and reaching the necessary customer base requires more than just internal resources. He suggested that Facebook will need a game studio with a team of more than 100 people to produce a massively multiplayer online game. Rubin wrote: “What is certain is that no team within Facebook has the cohesion and experience that can launch large-scale, technically challenging, awesome games or interactive products, and can build a digital world. Out. For these reasons, we will need to make an acquisition.”
He listed Insomniac Games and Gearbox Software as potential targets. And studios like Blizzard and Rockstar are too large and profitable, and they are too focused on their game world to be acquired. Rubin finally recommended Ready at Dawn, the developer of Lone Echo. Facebook completed the acquisition in June 2020.
Zuckerberg was too hasty?
Rubin wrote that in addition to the technical achievements that Metaverse needs to achieve, in addition to the technical achievements of Metaverse, the release of products will also be crucial, requiring “creating shock and awe.” Therefore, if Zuckerberg is not ready for this moment, he should avoid putting a slide that says “Welcome to Metaverse” behind his back when he takes the stage at the conference.
Picture: Faceboo CEO Mark Zuckerberg delivered a speech at the Facebook Connect event. The company announced the change of its name to Meta on October 28, 2021 in New York, USA
Rubin wrote: “If we send out every step of our roadmap because we want to complete the theme meeting, then the competition will always be one step behind. Let’s not do that. Let us continue to wait patiently until there is a veritable meta universe. Coming.” However, Zuckerberg didn’t seem to follow Rubin’s advice completely. His speech on Thursday was bold, but the world he portrayed was far from ready for consumers to experience.
The demo was a Pixar-like animation showing the software the company hopes to develop. It is full of users who hang out and exercise in the form of avatars or cartoon avatars. Zuckerberg admitted that this technology still has a long way to go, and it may take another ten years.
Some people believe that Facebook needs to change the conversation and distract the public. Previously, damaging reports based on internal documents leaked by a “whistleblower” have lasted for six weeks.
Rubin has a different explanation. He said that the company now knows that in order to achieve its arduous mission, it needs to take others for a ride and bid farewell to the “walled garden.” He also said: “This is a long journey. We will work with many different companies. No plan can be concealed for too long.”