Just weeks after Facebook’s rebrand to Meta, the company is reportedly now interested in building physical stores in the coming years.
According to founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, the rebrand is designed to shift the focus of the company to build a “metaverse” – a virtual world for users to work and socialize.
It’s expected that the metaverse, which has been described as a “virtual environment”, will reach approximately a billion people in the next decade.
Part of the expansion of Meta is physical stores, which could play a key role in helping people understand the technology and use it in their lives.
The stores would, according to the reports, be more like experience stores than retail shops to make purchases. People would be able to visit and try out the company’s virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) devices, which are made by its Reality Labs division.
One of the products available for customers to try out would be the Oculus Quest reality headset, which is due to be renamed Meta Quest.
Other products would include the Facebook Portal (soon to be Meta Portal), which is designed for video calling, and the Stories augmented reality smart glasses, which have recently been developed by the company alongside Ray-Ban.
Although these products are already being sold in some retail locations, part of Meta’s vision would be to include them as gateways into the metaverse as a social platform by showing people how to use virtual and augmented reality to socialize.
It would also help address some of the concerns people currently have about the technology. For example, potential customers are often put off by the high prices and think the headsets are too difficult to use. There have also been some side effects reported, like nausea.
Meta hopes the stores would help get people on board with the idea and learn how to use virtual reality. To do this, the company believes it needs to have a presence in the real world.