The project, in gestation since 2020, is not guaranteed to succeed.
In a strange irony, in order to arouse the “curiosity and proximity” of consumers to the Metaverse, documents obtained by the New York Times reveal that Facebook is considering opening physical stores.
Facebook wants to convince Metaverse skeptics
Until now, Facebook, which has since become Meta, has never opened physical stores. At most, stores in airports or in Manhattan have physically welcomed the public in a short-lived way. Since 2020, the social network has seriously considered this possibility.
These stores would be designed to showcase products from Facebook’s Reality Labs division, which is at the heart of the company’s strategy for the Metaverse. In sleekly styled stores, with branding subtly scattered around according to internal documents, Oculus virtual reality headsets, Ray-Ban augmented reality glasses and various other products.
Meta is well aware of the skepticism surrounding the Metaverse. The Oculus Quest 2, its entry-level headset, has failed to take virtual reality out of a niche audience. The virtual universe desired by Mark Zuckerberg is regularly brought back to the video game Second Life of the early 2000s, now almost forgotten.
An uncertain realization?
Ironically, Facebook hopes to convince a wider audience via its stores. The project seems already advanced. A demonstration store is planned in Burlingame, California, near the offices of Reality Labs.
Several names have been mentioned: Facebook Hub, Facebook Commons, Facebook Reality Store and From Facebook, says the New York Times, before noting that a sober Facebook Store seemed to get the most favor. A name that could be changed to Meta, the new identity of the firm.
A company spokesperson explained that these plans were not confirmed. Chances are that the project will never see the light of day. In the meantime, future virtual reality headsets will continue to try to expand their audience via Meta’s retail partners.