People love the real world, Snap CEO and co-founder Evan Spiegel says, and augmenting real-life experiences makes much more sense to him than building out the metaverse — a word he doesn’t even want to be said in the offices of the Santa Monica, California company behind the social media firm Snapchat.
Speigel is betting that most people would rather spend time in the real world — maybe an augmented real world — than insert themselves into the metaverse and live life in an alternate virtual environment, the Guardian and other media reported on Friday (April 29).
“The reason why we don’t use that word is because it’s pretty ambiguous and hypothetical,” Speigel told The Guardian. “Just ask a room of people how to define it, and everyone’s definition is totally different.”
Snap recently unveiled smart glasses and an expanding hardware portfolio last year. The company is also releasing Pixy, a drone that takes off from your hand to capture selfies.
Spiegel may think that Facebook’s metaverse plans are ambiguous and hypothetical, but he does agree with Mark Zuckerberg that AR glasses will be a game-changer. Zuckerberg has called the wearables the “holy grail” device. And while Meta’s are not coming out until 2024 at the earliest, Spiegel’s AR Spectacles are already being tested by developers.
“There’s now like 250 million people engaging with AR every day on the smartphone alone,” Spiegel said. “And that’s on this tiny little screen that you’re looking through and you’re using your thumbs on. So we believe that trying to break some of those constraints, and go into a truly immersive and interactive AR experience, will be really important in the future.”
Snapchat is ranked as the “happiest platform when compared to other apps” Speigel told the Guardian, and “over 90% of Snapchatters say they feel comfortable, happy, and connected when they use Snapchat.”