Facebook wants people to think it is a responsible platform owner.
Facebook has announced a $50 million fund that it says will help it develop the metaverse more responsibly. It’s officially called the XR Programs and Research Fund, and the company says it’ll be invested into “programs and external research” over the course of two years. Facebook has previously funded academic research into the social impact of AR wearables and solicited VR hardware proposals. Facebook’s announcement blog calls the metaverse the “next computing platform” and says that the company will be working with policymakers, researchers, and industry partners while building it.
The announcement also gives us Facebook’s definition of the sometimes nebulous word “metaverse.” The company describes it as “virtual spaces where you can create and explore with other people” that you’re not physically with, spread out over a variety of products and services. Facebook says the fund’s goal is to make sure it builds its part of the metaverse with an eye towards compatibility with other services, as well as inclusivity, privacy, safety, and “economic opportunity.” Right now, Facebook’s metaverse biggest metaverse program is a platform called Horizon, which exists as a beta Oculus app that lets people have VR meetings.
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