Difference Between Meta and Metaverse

We live in the era of technology and innovations. Every decade is much more advanced with new technologies than the previous decade. In such a quickly evolving era, there are several technologies and tech companies that are trying to compete with each other. Facebook’s rebranding to Meta has left a lot of people in confusion about Meta and the Metaverse.

Meta vs Metaverse 

The main difference between Meta and Metaverse is that the word Meta is the new name for the tech corporation known as Facebook. Metaverse refers to a universe or world that exists in the virtual space. It is clearly said that Facebook has adopted the name Meta from the idea of building a Metaverse.

Meta and Metaverse

The word Meta is the recent rebranding of the prominent tech corporation Facebook. The company Facebook, as it was previously known, was founded by Mark Zuckerberg and others in 2004. The company Facebook became the largest social media platform in a few years and acquired other major platforms like Instagram and WhatsApp.  

The word Metaverse refers to a futuristic idea of a virtual universe. The term Metaverse is a combination of Meta, which means Beyond, and Universe. The concept of the Metaverse is beyond the idea of our physical world. It is an idea to create a virtual world where people can meet, hang out, interact, work, and enjoy while physically staying at their houses.

Comparison Table Between Meta and Metaverse

Parameters of ComparisonMetaMetaverse
MeaningIt refers to the rebranding of the company Facebook.It refers to the futuristic idea of a virtual world.
OriginThe name Meta is derived from the concept of Metaverse.The name Metaverse traces back to the 1992 novel Snow Crash.
FoundersIt was founded by Mark Zuckerberg and others.As it’s a futuristic idea, it has no founders.
GoalBuilding a Metaverse.A virtual world for people to work, hang out and exist.
Public companyMeta became a public company in 2012.Metaverse is not owned by any particular company.

What is Meta?

The word Meta is used to refer to the famous or infamous global tech corporation that was previously known as Facebook. The company Facebook needs no introduction in this era. It is the social media platform with the most number of users across the world. Facebook was founded by Mark Zuckerberg and others in the year 2004. It was initially started as a university-level networking service that was intended to rate the attractiveness of the students.  

Soon, Facebook rose from a fun-university site to a social networking platform where anyone can log in with their email IDs and connect. Though there have been a few social networking platforms before, Facebook soon became the undisputed leader of social media platforms. It was publicly listed in 2012 and has been a top-performer since then. In the year 2020, Facebook generated a revenue of US$85 billion. 

After a few months of turmoil with whistleblower leaks and lawsuits, Facebook decided to rebrand the company into Meta in October 2021. This was a decision taken by the company to rebrand itself and align with the new vision and mission of building a Metaverse. Though Facebook has been involved and publicly informed about its ambitions in the Metaverse, the rebranding helped the company to extend its vision towards creating a virtual space of social media and others. 

What is Metaverse?

The word Metaverse is used to refer to the abstract concept or idea. This concept of a Metaverse is about extending the physical world into a virtual reality world. It seeks to build a global virtual world that is not bound by nations or identities. In this virtual world, people can interact with each other as they do on social media platforms today, but by using avatars. The concept of avatars is not something new for the users of Snapchat and video game players. 

The avatar on the game or Snapchat is a digital version or identity of ourselves. Unlike the physical body, the digital identity can be customized easily according to our wishes. We use this avatar to interact with others in the Metaverse. A simple example of Fortnite is explanatory. Avatars of the players can hang out, attend a concert, involve in work meetings, etc., in this virtual universe while physically remaining at our homes. The digitization of work through remote work and online meetings is not new anymore. The Metaverse extends this into a virtual universe.

This is also powered by the usage of blockchain, cryptocurrencies, and NFTs. Cryptocurrencies, which are open for all, will be used as a medium of transaction in the metaverse and not fiat currencies. NFTs refers to the ownership of digital products that would form a part of our digital identity on the Metaverse. Companies like Nike, Meta, Roblox, and others have already entered into building this Metaverse. The idea of the metaverse is still nascent, but it will be accelerated by the introduction of other major companies. 

Main Differences Between Meta and Metaverse

  1. The word Meta refers to the company that was previously known as Facebook. The word Metaverse refers to the futuristic idea of a virtual world. 
  2. The company Meta derived its name from the concept of Metaverse. The origin of the metaverse is not linear, but the 1992 sci-fi novel Snow Crash is one of the conceptualists.
  3. Meta or Facebook was founded by Mark Zuckerberg and others. The idea of Metaverse is abstract and does not have any founders.
  4. The rebranding towards Meta was done to align better with the company’s vision of helping to build a Metaverse. The goal of a metaverse is an open virtual world that is unrestricted by nationalities or identities where humans can interact with one another. 
  5. Meta became a public company in the year 2012. The Metaverse is not limited to any companies or owners.

Conclusion

It is perfectly normal that the rebranding of Facebook into Meta has left a lot of people in confusion. Starting from the meaning of the name Meta, it was not clear to the public why was the rebranding done and what was the point of Meta. 

To put it in simple terms, the idea of a Metaverse exists separately and is not limited to Facebook or any other companies. It is an idea of a virtual reality world for people to interact. This would be powered by future technologies like VR/AR headsets and Oculus glasses. Meanwhile, Facebook rebranded to Meta because it suits the new vision and missions of the company of helping to build a Metaverse.

References

  1. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0262-4079(21)01450-0
  2. https://doi.org/10.1002/cav.1752
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