In the morning of November 2, Beijing time, it was reported that the meta-universe pioneer criticized Facebook's name change, saying that it is not the original Facebook, the latter is a reuse of the increasingly hot concept.
Metaverse became the buzzword in the tech industry this year, as companies and investors embraced it as the next big thing. But in reality, users have been spending time in these fast-growing but little-known virtual worlds for years.
"They just want to build what many of us have been building for years, but when they rename it, it's like it's their thing." American Ryan Kapel says he has organized gatherings in different universes for more than two years.
Facebook has not commented.
Facebook announced last Thursday that it was changing its name to Meta and detailed its plans to build its own immersive digital world. This comes at a time when many lawmakers and regulators have criticized the company for abusing its market position, algorithmic decisions and policies.
In the virtual world, users can walk around as avatars, chat with friends and play games. Some of these blockchain-based services also allow users to speculate on virtual real estate.
"I think Facebook changed its name early in order to ensure the legitimacy of the new trademark as soon as possible, as more and more brands are interested in it." Pranksy, a British cryptocurrency investor, said he started buying virtual real estate as early as 2020.
Arthur Sychov, who founded Somnium Space in 2017, said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's name change announcement felt "rushed... I am anxious to insert myself into the meta-cosmic narrative that is happening right now.
Mr Sishov spends up to five hours a day on Somnium Space, which has 1,000 to 2,000 daily active users.
Dave Carr, head of communications for virtual worlds Decentraland, said Facebook's move could face resistance from other metaverse users because of concerns about the company's control over content.
"People who want to determine the future of the virtual world in which they live, who want to maintain ownership of their creations, who want to move freely between Spaces, will opt for decentralized versions." He sees Decentraland as a decentralised metauniverse whereas Facebook's plans are like a decentralised metauniverse.
Decentraland was founded in 2017 and currently has around 7,000 daily active users. The company sees itself as an alternative to traditional social media platforms and doesn't sell users' data or control what they see.
Many existing metasurverse platforms are based on blockchain technology and therefore cannot be centrally controlled. Blockchain is a distributed ledger architecture commonly used in cryptocurrencies. In these virtual worlds, people use cryptocurrencies to buy land and other digital goods in the form of non-homogeneous tokens (NFT).
But metaverse pioneers aren't entirely negative about Facebook's name change. Some argue that Facebook's entry will increase interest in the concept of virtual worlds, attract more users, and support the development of many virtual worlds.
Tristan Littlefield, co-founder of NFT42, a metasuniverse user since 2018, also had a negative first reaction to Facebook's name change decision because he didn't like how the company was selling user data.
But he also believes that "when you have a giant like Facebook coming in and spending huge amounts of money... It's really a good thing, "because it attracts new people to the industry.