Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg Hopeful About India's Role In Metaverse Development

by Bhaswati Guha Majumder - Dec 17, 2021 01:38 PM +05:30 IST
Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg Hopeful About India's Role In Metaverse DevelopmentFacebook’s Metaverse and Virtual Reality
Snapshot
  • The company, formerly known as Facebook, changed its name in October this year to mark a shift away from being only a social media powerhouse and towards becoming an emerging computing platform focused on virtual reality.

Meta Platforms Inc. CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that India and Indians will play a key role in the development of the virtual world over the internet as he embarks on creating a parallel digital ecosystem through the Metaverse.

The company, formerly known as Facebook, changed its name in October this year to mark a shift away from being only a social media powerhouse and towards becoming an emerging computing platform focused on virtual reality.

In the midst of a tempest over data privacy and management, Zuckerberg lent heavily on Indian engineers and content creators for the building of the "next chapter for the internet."

"I am really excited about the role that India will play in building this future. India’s talent pool — the engineers, developers and creators, and your whole vibrant start-up ecosystem are playing a huge role in shaping the future...India is on track to have the largest app developer base in the world by 2024, and already has one of the largest spark AR developer communities,” he said during the second Fuel for India event by Meta.

The term "metaverse" refers to a hybrid of technologies such as virtual reality, augmented reality, and video in which users "live" in a digital universe. Reportedly, Meta hopes to expand its global social media user base of more than 3 billion people into an audience interested in immersive digital experiences.

Zuckerberg stated that in order for the metaverse to function, it will not be constructed by a single firm or even a small group of companies — Meta would need to empower millions of creators all over the world.

“The reason why India is so exciting to me is two things that combined together make for something special — the entrepreneurial spirit combined with the scale of what can happen... That is what is fuelling a lot of the internet economy in India already, but it also makes me so optimistic about the future here,” he explained.

Zuckerberg went on to say that India's online gaming industry has grown rapidly in recent years. He noted that as the company looks at how it will take shape in the metaverse, the group’s investment in gaming in the country continues to rise, he said.

According to him, investments in firms like Unacademy and Meesho are also "important use cases... towards the future that we're building”.

However, the metaverse, according to Zuckerberg, will be the mobile internet's successor. While explaining, the CEO said: “It's this immersive internet (or embodied internet) where you're in it rather than seeing it...This is going to be an internet where you feel like you're there and you're present with people and in other places. And, I think it's this continuation of the technological trends that we've seen over the last few decades.”

In India, Meta's Facebook has 434 million monthly active users, more than double its user base in its home country. In India, WhatsApp has around 400 million users, while according to Statista, India has over 200 million Instagram users.

Zuckerberg said: “We want to make sure that we can do our part to continue unlocking this [India’s] potential. Because I think the experiences that people build here are going to make people’s lives better all around the world,"

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