Facebook has announced a $50 million fund to be more responsible during the development of the metaverse. According to the company, the fund is officially called XR Programs and Research Fund and will be invested in “programs and external research” over the course of two years.
Facebook said it will develop the metaverse “responsibly”
Facebook had previously announced that it would take the lead in developing the metaverse. But it seems the company is also aware of criticism of its track record on user privacy and cultivating misinformation. Facebook said today that it would develop Metaverse products “responsibly”. Facebook VP Nick Clegg also commented on the program. He called it “a start” to exploring the metaverse and said he hopes it will help find answers as regulators begin asking questions about the new technology.
Facebook’s initial partners in the $50 million initiative include the Organization of American States, Women in Immersive Tech, and African organizations Electric South, Africa No Filter, and Imisi3D. The company will also consult with researchers from Seoul National University, The University of Hong Kong, and the National University of Singapore on these efforts.
What is the metaverse?
The metaverse refers to shared online spaces where users are represented by 3D avatars and live and interact together. A good example of the idea of a metaverse is the movie Ready Player One, and some experimental metaverse worlds already exist on Ethereum, such as Decentraland and CryptoVoxels. In the future, users should be able to seamlessly travel between virtual spaces with the same virtual assets, such as avatars and digital items. If the metaverse becomes the successor to the Internet, who builds it and how is extremely important to the future of our society.
For this reason, many people are skeptical of Facebook considering building the metaverse. For example, NFT collector Punk6529 has tweeted that he’s concerned that users will need a Facebook account to participate in this metaverse. Facebook has already signaled that it does not intend to single-handedly create or oversee the potential metaverse. And states that this will likely be just the beginning of a long-term process.