Big Tech Forms the Metaverse Standards Forum

Meta (Facebook), Microsoft, and other tech giants have formed the Metaverse Standards Forum to foster development of industry standards for the (as yet undefined) metaverse. Most of the big players are founding members, with some notable exceptions such as Apple, Roblox, Niantic, The Sandbox, and Decentraland.

I’d love for this to be an important announcement, but I don’t think it is. The idea of a “standards body” sounds great, but if you look at the history of these types of organizations, you quickly realize that they fall into two categories: Powerless Political Dumpster Fires and Bureaucratic Wastelands.

What is the metaverse? It’s a big question. One day, we will have dozens (if not hundreds) of partial answers. Whatever the metaverse turns out to be, it will not be “designed” or governed by a standards body. If a feature is widely or universally adopted, it will be a product of evolution (both natural and artificial selection). As always, the “standard” or “common” features of the most popular implementations will become de facto standards.

Who decided to make “File” the first pulldown menu starting from the left hand side of the navbar in practically every piece of software for Mac or PC? The force that created that common practice will shape the metaverse no matter which companies are founding members of the Metaverse Standards Forum.

Author’s note: This is not a sponsored post. I am the author of this article and it expresses my own opinions. I am not, nor is my company, receiving compensation for it.

About Shelly Palmer

Shelly Palmer is the Professor of Advanced Media in Residence at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, co-founder of Metacademy, and the CEO of The Palmer Group, a consulting practice that helps Fortune 500 companies with technology, media and marketing. Named LinkedIn’s “Top Voice in Technology,” he covers tech and business for Good Day New York, is a regular commentator on CNN and CNBC and writes a popular daily business blog. He’s the Co-Host of the award-winning podcast Techstream with Shelly Palmer & Seth Everett and his latest book, Blockchain - Cryptocurrency, NFTs & Smart Contracts: An executive guide to the world of decentralized finance, is an Amazon #1 Bestseller. Follow @shellypalmer or visit shellypalmer.com.

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