Facebook (Meta) to Build ‘Privacy and Safety’ into the Metaverse from Day One and Support for Crypto & NFTs

Facebook has rebranded its name to ‘Meta’ in an effort to move beyond the social network to its virtual reality vision. Meta, as the company said, would better “encompass” what it does.

“Over time, I hope that we are seen as a metaverse company, and I want to anchor our work and our identity on what we're building towards,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told a virtual conference.

This brand name change only applies to the parent company and not other companies it owns, viz Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp.

The new name was unveiled by Zuckerberg in a keynote presentation Thursday, where he also shared that his ambitious framework for a 3-D virtual world will include non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which are digital representations of artworks.

“This is going to require not just technical work, like some of the important projects that are going on around crypto and NFTs in the community now, it’s also going to take ecosystem building, norm setting, and new forms of governance, and this is something that we’re really going to focus on,” said Zuckerberg.

“Privacy and safety need to be built into the metaverse from day one.”

Zuckerberg noted that they would also be exploring new types of ownership models and entitlements to allow people to sell limited-edition digital objects like NFTs, display them in their digital spaces, and resell them to the next person securely.

“The metaverse will remove many of the physical constraints we see in commerce today and make entirely new businesses possible.”

Facebook also unveiled some new projects to support the vision of Metaverse that includes a $150 million fund to encourage its use among the customer base. The social media giant is committed to spending billions of dollars to make it happen.

A couple of months back, Facebook Financial head David Marcus had also talked about smart contracts, programmable money, and NFTs as “transformational for the metaverse.”

Marcus suggested that they are working on something NFT-related in their digital wallet Novi and could also be part of Facebook’s plans.

“It's too early to talk about our plans but we're definitely looking at a number of ways to get involved in the space because we think we're in a really good position to do so.”

In the Founder's letter, Zuckerberg explained that this new platform will be “more immersive” and will “touch every product we build.”

A feeling of presence will be the defining quality of the metaverse, he wrote. Here, users will be able to do “almost anything you can imagine” that today doesn’t fit with computers or phones.

“This will open up more opportunity no matter where you live. You’ll be able to spend more time on what matters to you, cut down time in traffic, and reduce your carbon footprint.”

Zuckerberg reiterated that privacy and safety must be built into the metaverse from day one along with open standards and interoperability, which given Facebook’s past, doesn't give much confidence. Also, this will require more than novel technical work such as “supporting crypto and NFT projects,” he added.

“I’m dedicating our energy to this — more than any other company in the world… The future is going to be beyond anything we can imagine.”

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