Australia could be at the forefront of Facebook’s metaverse, according to the local boss, as the social media giant unveils its new name

Australia could be at the forefront of Facebook’s metaverse, according to the local boss, as the social media giant unveils its new name
Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
  • Local developers could help pioneer the metaverse, said Will Easton, Facebook’s managing director for Australia.
  • His statement comes as Facebook changes its corporate name to Meta.
  • That name reflects founder Mark Zuckerberg’s focus on the yet-to-be-realised digital realm.
  • Visit Business Insider Australia’s homepage for more stories.

Australian developers and e-commerce leaders could stand at the “forefront” of metaverse technology, according to the local managing director of Meta — the company otherwise known as Facebook.

The social media juggernaut revealed its new corporate title overnight, reflecting the company’s renewed focus on the metaverse experience.

The metaverse will be an “embodied internet where you’re in the experience, not just looking at it,” Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said.

This experience will be built around augmented and virtual reality, allowing users to flit between the digital and physical world, he added.

In Zuckerberg’s vision, users will be able to “teleport instantly as a hologram to be at the office without a commute” or attend a concert without being physically present.

Crucially, he hoped the metaverse will foster the same interactions which made Facebook one of the most powerful companies on Earth, namely the buying and selling of products and ad placements.

“Our hope is that within the next decade, the metaverse will reach a billion people, host hundreds of billions of dollars of digital commerce, and support jobs for millions of creators and developers,” he said.

The company’s focus on this yet-to-be-realised potential means Meta is a more appropriate name for the company, Zuckerberg said.

His comments speak to Facebook’s recent admission that enthusiasm among young users is waning, while their focus on immersive digital worlds, like those presented across video games ‘Roblox’, ‘Fortnite’ and ‘Minecraft’, remains strong.

Elsewhere, Zuckerberg’s letter made no mention of the recently leaked documents which suggest Facebook has struggled to curtail hate-speech on its platform, lacked the ability to moderate harmful content outside the U.S. and was aware its subsidiary Instagram was detrimental to the mental health of some teen users.

Instead, he said the platform has learned from “difficult social issues”.

“Now it is time to take everything we’ve learned and help build the next chapter.”

Will Easton, Facebook / Meta’s managing director for Australia, said local tech visionaries could help build the forthcoming metaverse.

“There are already a wealth of Australian companies and creators working in this space, including fashion designers, gaming and VR experience creators, academics and marketers experimenting with new immersive formats,” Easton said.

“Australia has an opportunity to be on the forefront of this technology even at this early stage of its development.”

While much metaverse development is based in tech hotspots like Silicon Valley, Australian NFT fashion house MYAMI and other local crypto-asset projects have voiced their enthusiasm for the concept.

Local ventures could benefit from the largely decentralised promise of the metaverse, Easton added.

“Facebook isn’t going to build, own or run the metaverse on its own, we will be collaborating at every stage with policymakers, experts and industry partners,” he said.