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Mark Zuckerberg is all about the metaverse

Hello and welcome to Protocol Entertainment, your business guide to the gaming and media industries. This Friday, we take stock of Mark Zuckerberg’s big ambitions for digital commerce in the metaverse and the flurry of news his company announced last week. Also, what to read, watch and play this weekend.

Zuckerberg is really excited about the metaverse

It’s been a big week for Mark Zuckerberg’s personal Facebook page. Meta’s CEO has over the past few years transformed his social media account into a press release distribution hub, containing personalized messages about company news, product updates and announcements and generally only those that Zuckerberg himself is very enthusiastic about. And now, hardly a week goes by without a major Facebook post detailing a new product initiative or an update on the topic that Zuckerberg is most passionate about: the metaverse.

Zuckerberg has been extremely active over the past seven days, release four major company announcements on Metaverse-related news.

  • Last Friday, Zuckerberg announced a new store for Meta’s 3D avatars featuring virtual clothing from luxury brands like Balenciaga and Prada. On Monday, it launched experimental headset designs from Meta’s VR group.
  • Then on Tuesday there was an overhaul of Meta’s monetization system for creators, including news that the company would delay collecting its revenue share until 2024 and plans to expand its NFT test to include Instagram Stories and Facebook.
  • On Wednesday, Zuckerberg said his company would rebrand Facebook Pay as Meta Pay, with the goal of turning it into a “wallet for the metaverse.”

Meta Pay news is very important. Before Facebook became Meta, the company tried and failed both publicly and spectacularly to launch an ambitious digital currency and crypto platform. But it failed to woo regulators and eventually shut everything down in January.

  • Remnants of that dream exist today only in the form of Facebook’s digital payment system, which allows Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp users to send money and make purchases online. After Wednesday’s rebranding, which the company first announced in May, the product takes on new responsibilities.
  • “Beyond the current features, we’re working on something new: a wallet for the metaverse that lets you securely manage who you are, what you own, and how you pay,” Zuckerberg wrote on his Facebook page.
  • “Going forward, there will be all kinds of digital items you might want to create or buy – digital apparel, art, videos, music, experiences, virtual events, and more,” he added. “Proof of ownership will be important, especially if you want to take some of these items with you to different departments.”
  • It’s no coincidence that Meta is one of the founding members of the new Metaverse Standards Forum, an industry group committed to working towards platform interoperability for the Metaverse. Not on the roster at this time: Apple, Niantic, or Roblox, though Niantic has told Protocol it’s “watching it.”

Zuckerberg envisions a digital commerce empire. If the Facebook product has become one of the most efficient and lucrative advertising machines in the world, then Zuckerberg’s metaverse of dreams will be the largest and most dynamic mall ever created.

  • “We’re hoping to reach about a billion people in the metaverse doing hundreds of dollars of commerce, each buying digital goods, digital content, different things to express themselves,” Zuckerberg told CNBC’s Jim Cramer yesterday.
  • “So whether it’s clothes for their avatar or different digital goods for their virtual home or things to decorate their virtual conference room, utilities to be able to be more productive in virtual and augmented reality and in the entire metaverse,” he said.
  • Zuckerberg clearly sees the benefits of Meta right now – owning the most popular VR platform, investing in early AR hardware, and tapping into the social networks used by billions of people – as the reason the company needs to act fast. for fear of giving ground to his rivals.
  • “We’re at this point, you know, a company that can afford to make big investments in long-term research, and that’s an important goal,” Zuckerberg said.

It’s not something we haven’t heard from Meta’s CEO in the past nine months since the company’s name change to Meta. But it helps contextualize many of this week’s announcements. The New York Times reported yesterday that since the metaverse shift, Zuckerberg has been significantly less interested in what widely concerned him in the aftermath of the 2016 US election, such as election integrity, Facebook reputation issues and privacy scandals. Datas.

Instead, the company and its most influential decision maker are now focused on the metaverse. That’s how Zuckerberg imagines Meta will build the next multi-billion user platform, how the company will get the most bang for its buck when or if Facebook and even Instagram’s userbases shift primarily to greener pastures and how she will avoid the pitfalls of building her business on platforms, like mobile, that she doesn’t control.

-Nick Statt

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#TGIF: How to spend your weekend

“To Infinity and Back: In Axie’s Disastrous Year” Rest of the world: To many casual observers, Axie Infinity looks like a marvelous achievement, one of the first winning gaming games to successfully deploy all the bells and whistles of Web3’s blockchain like NFTs, cryptocurrency, and virtual earth. . But the lesser-known story of his downfall over the past six months is a much bigger story, and told in detail by Darren Loucaides from The Rest of the World in an excellent article published this week. The article, along with interviews with the company’s founders, tells the story of how Axie Infinity developer Sky Mavis rose to fame as a poster boy for the blockchain gaming movement, and the perils of a fledgling industry plagued by hacks and scams and intertwined with an uncontrollable and volatile financial market.

“Peaky Blinders” —Netflix: The sixth and final season of Steven Knight’s historical crime drama “Peaky Blinders” has arrived, having premiered in its entirety on the BBC and premiering on Netflix earlier this month. Like previous seasons, season six may at first seem like six episodes too fast, especially considering how long Netflix’s many other series are. But “Peaky Blinders” offers extraordinary depth to each of those hours as it explores the machinations of Thomas Shelby and his once ramshackle, now terrifyingly powerful criminal organization. If you’ve never watched it, now is a good time to dive in before the Knight-planned feature ends the series for good.

“Umbrella Academy” —Netflix: The superhero graphic novel series adaptation from My Chemical Romance frontman Gerard Way returned this week for a third season. After season two’s time travel shenanigans, “The Umbrella Academy” has officially strayed into alternate universe territory, plagued by headache-inducing paradoxes, and it’s all getting a little overwhelming. Thankfully, the third season is grounded in some great performances, most notably by Elliot Page, who worked with writer Thomas Page McBee to incorporate his real-world transition into the fictional narrative.

Vampire Survivors — CP: Indie developer Luca Galante’s Vampire Survivors is one of the most unlikely hits of the year. The influential roguelike shoot-’em-up has been called a “bullet paradise,” unlike manic bullet hell-style shooters where you have to dodge a near-infinite stream of projectiles. In Vampire Survivors, projectiles come from you as you move away from small armies of enemies. The game spins for you, while most of the fun comes from traversing custom maps and unlocking and leveling up unique characters. It’s hard to describe the appeal without trying the game out for yourself, but at just $3 on Steam, it’s worth a try. The game was also added to Game Pass for PC last month.

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There is so much more we need to do to ensure our future is more equitable and inclusive and maximizes America’s potential. It’s not enough to make sure everyone is connected. We must also extend the full reach of digital opportunities to people, communities and institutions.

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Thoughts, questions, advice? Send them to entertainment@protocol.com. Good day, see you Tuesday.


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