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.