Earlier this summer, Mark Zuckerberg detailed his aspirations for Facebook, anticipating that peoples’ perspectives on the platform will evolve. “I expect people will transition from seeing us primarily as a social-media company to seeing us as a metaverse company,” he said, defining the “metaverse” as “a virtual environment where you can be present with people in digital spaces.”

“[It’s] an embodied Internet that you’re inside of rather than just looking at,” he continued. “We believe that this is going to be the successor to the mobile Internet.”

Well, Facebook has finally unveiled a glimpse of its innovative “metaverse” technology — and it’s about as underwhelming as your average Zoom happy hour. Because that’s basically all it is, but even worse: Zuckerberg’s avant-garde vision for the world is just a future of virtual reality work meetings.

An example Workroom meeting.An example Workroom meeting.Credit: Facebook/Oculus.com

Called “Horizon Workrooms,” Facebook’s latest VR venture allows coworkers to meet in virtual conference rooms while wearing the Oculus Quest 2 headset. CNN reports that each workroom allows up to 16 VR headset users to “physically” meet as their customised digital avatar, while 50 users total can attend the meeting as audio.

Participants in headsets can use their hands to gesticulate, and their avatar’s allegedly make realistic expressions while speaking. Each room also contains a virtual whiteboard for taking notes, sharing pictures, and/or presenting.

Taking notes in the metaverse. Credit: Facebook/Oculus.com

“The pandemic in the last 18 months has only given us greater confidence in the importance of this as a technology,” Andrew Bosworth, VP of Facebook Reality Labs, told a (virtual) room on Tuesday. Bosworth said that Facebook has actually been using the app for about a year.

As expected, the internet has…thoughts…on Facebook’s cutting-edge conference calls. And those thoughts are that: We hate it.

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