Social media giant Facebook is known to have its hand in different upcoming industries. With the company still working on launching its stablecoin, it appears to now be turning its attention to the virtual world.
Earlier this week, the Silicon Valley giant announced that it would be launching a fund to help launch a virtual metaverse.
Working on a Company Passion
According to an official blog post, Facebook announced the XR Programs and Research Fund – an initiative tasked with creating the firm’s virtual metaverse. The fund will start with a capital injection of $50 million from Facebook, with the company planning to conduct internal and external research into building its virtual metaverse.
As Facebook explained, its metaverse will help people interact with each other and digital objects through a new medium.
The company won’t be working on the project alone.
The social media firm plans to attract other partners to join the cause. The research and collaboration funding will be distributed via the XR Programs and Research Fund, with Facebook claiming that it hopes to “make the time people spend online more meaningful.”
While its roots appear in science fiction movies, the metaverse has become an increasing fascination for tech firms and the blockchain industry. It essentially refers to a series of shared online spaces that allow people to build online avatars of themselves and interact with each other. The concept has been explored in different movies, and blockchain projects like Decentraland and CryptoVoxels have brought it to the blockchain space.
Facebook has been playing with the idea of exploring the metaverse for a while. In June, company chief executive Mark Zuckerberg reportedly told employees that they would be transitioning from building internally connected apps and hardware to developing a metaverse.
As Zuckerberg explained at the time, Facebook’s vision is to develop a maximalist version of itself, which will span its social presence, office work, and even entertainment.
In July, Facebook established an executive team to oversee the metaverse effort and drive its development.
Facebook’s Other Ventures
The metaverse is so far the latest thing that Facebook appears to be working on. The company and its partners remain focused on getting the Diem stablecoin past regulators and to the market, although that uphill battle rages on.
Then, the company announced plans to support non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in August. David Marcus, the head of Facebook Financial, told Bloomberg at the time that they were looking at different possible ways to step into the NFT industry. Marcus explained that Facebook is in a good position to support NFTs, especially with the company finally finishing work on its Novi crypto wallet.
Novi is market-ready at the moment, but Facebook is waiting to see if regulators finally approve Diem. Marcus told Bloomberg that a Novi launch without Diem would be a “last resort,” although NFT support for it could drive adoption in a way that they hoped Diem would.
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