Is the metaverse going to suck? A conversation with Matthew Ball
All right, let’s talk about the metaverse.
You probably can’t stop hearing about it. It’s in startup pitches, in earnings reports, some companies are creating metaverse divisions, and Mark Zuckerberg changed Facebook’s name to Meta to signal that he’s shifting the entire company to focus on the metaverse.
The problem, very simply, is that no one knows what the metaverse is, what it’s supposed to do, or why anyone should care about it.
Luckily, we have some help. Today, I’m talking to Matthew Ball, who is the author of the new book called The Metaverse: And How It Will Revolutionize Everything. Matthew was the global head of strategy at Amazon Studios. In 2018, he left Amazon to become an analyst and started writing about the metaverse on his blog. He’s been writing about this since way before the hype exploded, and his book aims to be the best resource for understanding the metaverse, which he sees as the next phase of the internet. It’s not just something that you access through a VR headset, though that’s part of it. It’s how you’ll interact with everything. That sort of change is where new companies have opportunities to unseat the old guard.
This episode gets very in the weeds, but it really helped me understand the decisions some companies have made around building digital worlds and the technical challenges and business challenges that are slowing it down — or might even stop it. And, of course, I asked whether any of this is a good idea in the first place because, well, I’m not so sure. But there’s a lot here, so listen, and then you tell me.
Matthew Ball on Twitter
Mark Zuckerberg on why Facebook is rebranding to Meta
Microsoft, Meta, and others are founding a metaverse open standards group
Android emoji will actually look human this year
Apple’s app tracking policy reportedly cost social media platforms nearly $10 billion
Microsoft and Activision Blizzard: the latest news on the acquisition
Microsoft HoloLens boss Alex Kipman is out after misconduct allegations
European Parliament Think Tank memorandum—Metaverse: Opportunities, risks and policy implications
Decoder is a production of The Verge, and part of the Vox Media Podcast Network.
Today’s episode was produced by Creighton DeSimone and Jackie McDermott and it was edited by Callie Wright.
The Decoder music is by Breakmaster Cylinder. Our Sr Audio Director is Andrew Marino and our Executive Producer is Eleanor Donovan.
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