So apparently, Meta is considering opening physical stores sometime in the foreseeable future. The rumored retail locations would be used to display the company’s virtual reality devices.
What we know
According to The New York Times, Meta, the corporation that used to be known as Facebook, is considering opening physical storefronts, for the following purpose: ”The aim of the stores is to make the world ‘more open and connected,’ according to the company documents viewed by The Times. They are also intended to spark emotions like ‘curiosity, closeness,’ as well as a sense of feeling ‘welcomed’ while experimenting with headsets in a ‘judgment free journey.’”
Internally, Meta has considered building many retail outlets that will eventually span the globe: “The stores would be used to introduce people to devices made by the company’s Reality Labs division, such as virtual reality headsets and, eventually, augmented reality glasses.”
Discussions about actual stores began many months before Facebook’s redesign, with substantial work on the plan beginning last year, as is rumored. They also stated that the project, which is still in the planning stages, may not go further. However, if Meta decides to open stores, it will be a first for a tech company that has mostly operated digitally, with over 3.5 billion people using its programs like Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger.
Opening actual physical stores and shops would be an unusual move for the corporation, though, given that the futuristic Metaverse is built on the idea that items no longer need to be physical due to advancements in technology.
Consumers who are inexperienced with virtual reality can try out Meta’s Oculus product range, which is already available in partner stores and has previously been offered at physical pop-up stores and kiosks. The purpose of physical stores, according to corporate, is to “make the world more accessible and connected.”
There is a lot of skepticism regarding the Metaverse. VR is a small industry for amateurs and enthusiasts, despite Meta’s Reality Labs division’s moderate past success with the Oculus Quest 2, a low-cost headset that was popular last year. Hardware is frequently expensive and difficult to use. Some users have complained that the headsets make them feel sick.
Early plans and designs for Meta’s stores were modern, with a flat, minimalist appearance to the building exteriors and unobtrusive placement of the Facebook name. The firm contemplated branding its stores Facebook Hub, Facebook Commons, Facebook Innovations, Facebook Reality Store, and From Facebook before settling on the Facebook Store as the best option.
What’s your take? Isn’t a physical Meta store a contradiction of everything the Metaverse is supposed to be?
In other news, adidas has entered the Metaverse.
Photo via Tony Avelar/Associated Press