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Parmy Olson

Sorry, Zuckerberg, the Metaverse Won't Replace Zoom

The virtual conference room needs to die. VR is better used for fun and building relationships.

Your VR starter kit.

Your VR starter kit.

Photographer: UCG/Universal Images Group Editorial

“Welcome, welcome!” My guide, Philip, waves at me from his seat in a virtual conference room, where he’s wearing a green shirt and sitting at a desk. I’m at Facebook’s Reality Labs headquarters in Burlingame, California, wearing Meta Platform Inc.’s Quest 2 headset. Philip is in another room there as his cartoonish-looking avatar hops to another seat using a button on his virtual dashboard.

“You may have noticed when I changed seats that you heard me a little louder and a little closer in your left ear,” he says, noticeably more loudly and to-the-left-of-me than before. I jump to a different seat too.