Facebook now Meta: what is Zuckerberg up to?

Facebook Inc. is now called Meta. The company will not just operate on social media but also aims to build a "metaverse" - a virtual second world that feels like the real one, only without spatial restrictions, its owner Mark Zuckerberg explained on Thursday. Commentators discuss whether the plan can work and if other motives are behind the rebranding.

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Der Tagesspiegel (DE) /

Looks like a metaflop

Der Tagesspiegel is not convinced by the project:

“The great expectations of virtual reality have not been fulfilled in recent years. Far too few people are ready to don the corresponding glasses. The ideas Facebook has presented so far don't look like the company could radically change that. ... The idea of virtual worlds is nothing new anyway. Fifteen years ago there was already a hyped metaverse with 'Second Life'. ... But interest quickly waned. Today, video calls and conferences are part of everyday life and instead of wanting more, after the Covid months many of us are far happier to finally be able to see, hear and feel people in real life once more.”

Večernji list (HR) /

Always a step ahead of the authorities

This move will make it even harder for competition regulators to crack down on Facebook's unfair business practices, Večernji list fears:

“Just as the authorities were catching up with him, Mark Zuckerberg shifted into sixth gear and is gaining a huge lead against his pursuers. ... A decade of unprecedented market expansion was hardly enough to make US authorities understand the danger posed by Zuckerberg's business model, which was based on buying or destroying the competition. Proving retrospectively that he used unfair methods to undermine competition and create monopolies for years will be at least as difficult for authorities and prosecutors as understanding what Zuckerberg plans to do in the next decade.”