Three years ago, the paper exposed the initial plan of FB metauniverse: it is expected to build and sell 100 million hardware within four years


1 in 2018, oculus executive Jason Rubin wrote a 50 page document called “metauniverse” and sent it to Facebook executives and board members.
In this document, Rubin described in detail Facebook’s initial plan to occupy the VR market with a product that can eliminate any competition in the future.
Rubin predicts that in ten years, the company’s sales of yuanuniverse hardware will reach 100 million, of which 50% are oculus brand or authorized products.
But Rubin now admits that the meta universe cannot be built in four years, and meta alone cannot succeed. Zuckerberg believes that the meta universe will take 5 to 10 years to become the mainstream.
Tencent technology news on October 31, in June 2018, oculus executive Jason Rubin sent an email with the theme of “the metaverse” to Facebook board member Marc Andreessen.
In this 50 page document, Rubin outlined Facebook’s strategy of building a metauniverse. He wrote in the first slide: “we believe that the correct way to break consumers’ indifference to virtual reality (VR) is to provide them with what they expect and want, that is, the metauniverse.”
In the illustration taken on October 28, 2021, many toy characters appear in front of Facebook’s new name meta logo
This document sent three years ago laid the foundation for meta’s future ambition. On Thursday local time, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg gave a one hour demonstration and finally announced the name of the new company. This presentation aims to depict a virtual world completely different from the real world. Facebook is facing a steady stream of negative news related to the addictive nature of its social media products.
Zuckerberg told the audience during the demonstration that the company regards the metauniverse as the next technological frontier where people will live, work and play. But he admits that the meta universe will take five to 10 years to become the mainstream. Just a few days ago, the company announced in its financial report that from the fourth quarter, its hardware department reality labs will become an independent department to release financial results.
The document Rubin sent to Anderson in 2018 now looks more like the first draft of history. Imagine users floating in a digital world full of virtual advertising, with many virtual goods purchased by people. They will marry virtual people and spend as little time as possible in the so-called “meatverse”. “Physical world” refers to the real world, because people are flesh and blood. Rubin used “shocking and awe” 12 times to describe the experience he wanted.
Mark Anderson, partner of Andreessen Horowitz, a famous venture capital institution in Silicon Valley
Anderson is one of Rubin’s key recipients, not only because he has been a member of Facebook’s board of directors since 2008, but also because he has great influence in this specific field. Through Andreessen Horowitz, a famous venture capital institution in Silicon Valley, Anderson is an early investor of oculus. He also invested in roblox, a children’s game platform, which focuses on building its own meta universe.
Rubin also sent the document to Andrew “Boz” Bosworth, head of Facebook’s hardware department, and Hugo Barra, vice president of virtual reality department. Bosworth was promoted to CTO in July this year (starting next year). The people who disclosed the document were not authorized to talk about it, but Rubin confirmed its effectiveness in an interview on Friday.
Rubin wrote in the title of the first part of the document: “metauniverse may be the field we will lose.” he added that Facebook began to consider the concept of metauniverse as a way to attract ordinary consumers, because VR was not widely welcomed.
The document shows that Facebook spent $2 billion to acquire oculus in 2014. As of June 2018, the company’s VR helmets had accumulated 250000 monthly active players. Rubin wrote that although hundreds of millions of dollars have been invested in “early users and pioneers”, these devices have not been welcomed by non hard core players. “Ordinary consumers are waiting for the day when VR is’ fully mature ‘.”.
Rubin wrote: “we believe that ‘full maturity’ refers to the metauniverse. Only such a large-scale release can attract the attention of VR skeptics and potential users of VR in the future.”
Rubin’s current title at meta is vice president of metauniverse content. He says his document is widely read, but it’s not the only one that gets attention. Rubin said on Friday: “at that time, many people had ideas about the meta universe, and all kinds of documents were full of all kinds of views. I wanted to tell my ideas, which is the way we innovate on Facebook. There were a lot of ideas, a lot of people, and then they were excited. I hope some of them are useful.”
“We must act first”
Rubin predicted in the document that the metauniverse project may be completed within four years, and Facebook can complete it alone. But he now realizes that this will take more time, and meta will have to work with a wide range of companies rather than owning and controlling the whole system. “This is another way for us to expand our thinking. We have to cooperate with others and we have to take many steps because it will take a long time,” he said

Rubin said when writing the document that he was not sure how much time Facebook still had. He only knew that he had to “find a way out” and it was very important to stand out in the competition. “The first meta universe to gain real attraction is likely to be the last. We must first take action to become bigger and stronger, or we may become one of those suitors,” he wrote
He also wrote that Facebook could effectively drive competitors such as Google, apple, Sony, HTC and valve out of the VR market. He added that Sony focused on Playstation 5, HTC was dissatisfied with its potential hardware partners, and Facebook invested more than steam’s developer valve. “Google and apple don’t exist in VR yet. Daydream is a joke,” the document said, referring to Google’s VR platform, which terminated its operation a year after its release.
Rubin was not keen on cooperation. He said in the document that close cooperation with other potential competitors is meaningless, because Facebook should be the place where all users get a virtual experience. Rubin wrote: “let’s not build a metauniverse with plans to help other platforms accumulate and retain consumers. Let’s create a metauniverse ourselves to prevent competitors from entering the VR industry in a meaningful way.”
Rubin stressed on Friday that meta has abandoned this approach and the plan is to make the metauniverse interoperable and open, rather than “limited to one company”.
In an email statement, a meta spokesman said that technology has been developing since 2018, and the focus at that time was mainly VR. The company said it had always expected competition from Microsoft, Google, apple, Sony, roblox and many other companies. The spokesman also said: “it is certain that investing in and building the products consumers want is the key to success; we cannot build a meta universe alone; cooperation with developers, creators and experts is very important.”
Priya’s virtual marriage
In one chapter of the document, Rubin outlines a scenario in which the protagonist is a fictional user named Priya who visits the metauniverse. Priya entered a virtual city with bowling alleys, shops, theatres and Facebook pavilions, which are described as “the largest building” and occupy a prominent position in the square almost like a church.
Priya can interact with others and use meta cosmic money to buy a new hairstyle for her avatar. Priya finally met another user who looked like a green, warty ogre. But they finally got married.
Rubin wrote: “Priya can work, eat, socialize and sleep in the metauniverse. Her entertainment time is more and more completed in a virtual way, thanks to the integration of Netflix, Facebook, instagram and other metauniverses.”
Rubin said that under this assumption, in ten years, the company’s meta universe hardware sales will reach 100 million, of which 50% are oculus brand or authorized products, and the rest come from other hardware manufacturers.
The screenshot released on October 28, 2021 shows that Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of meta, announced that Facebook was renamed meta at the virtual and augmented reality conference. The picture shows him fencing with an Olympic gold medal fencer in the metauniverse
In 20 years, people’s time spent on the meta universe can be comparable to “the time spent watching TV in the 1990s and using Facebook in recent years”. The most important thing for Facebook is that “after deducting developer expenses, the annual net income will reach billions of dollars”. These revenues will come from the sale of virtual real estate, hats, weapons and status symbols.
Facebook’s revenue will also come from advertising, the market the company knows best. Rubin envisaged that Coca Cola would pay for the best location in its exhibition hall, Ford would pay for its virtual car, Procter & Gamble would publicize its brand on digital billboards, gucci could open a virtual store, and Comcast would invest in buying “a huge billboard that reads’ Comcast: make metaspeed function better! ‘”
Rubin wrote: “if the meta universe is where people spend their time, it is where the real economy wants to go. Our goal is to bring the meta universe to this stage. In short, it doesn’t look like a Facebook product.”
Considering this deep immersion, Rubin estimates that the revenue brought by 100 million yuan of cosmic users may be more than that brought by 1 billion Facebook users. “I may log on to Facebook many times a day, but I will live and work in the meta universe. I may prefer to spend time in the meta universe rather than work day after day,” he wrote
Rubin wrote that to succeed, the metauniverse must be “frightening”. In other words, it must be bold and ambitious, full of thousands of hours of game experience, and can change people’s lives so that Facebook engineers are afraid of the problems they face.
He wrote: “if the delivery of the metauniverse we started to build hasn’t scared us away, it’s not the metauniverse we should build, nor what customers want, so it doesn’t make any sense. The rest are mini universes.”
Rubin said that building all this and reaching out to the necessary customer groups requires more than internal resources. He said that Facebook needs a game studio with a team of more than 100 people to make large multiplayer online games.
“One thing is absolutely clear: no team within Facebook has such cohesion and experience to launch technologically challenging and awesome large-scale games or interactive products and create virtual cities,” he wrote, referring to Facebook’s digital world goal. “For these reasons, we will need to make acquisitions”.

Rubin identified insomniac games and gearbox software as potential targets. Studios like Blizzard and Rockstar are too large, too profitable and too focused on their own game world to be acquired. Rubin finally recommended ready at dawn, the studio of lone echo. Facebook closed the deal in June 2020.
Lay the foundation for the future
Rubin wrote that in addition to the technical achievements of the meta universe, the release of products will also be crucial and need to “create deterrence”. If Zuckerberg is not ready for this moment, he should avoid putting a slide with “welcome to the metauniverse” behind him when he takes the stage at the conference.
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, delivered a speech at the virtual Facebook connect event. The company announced its name change to meta in New York on October 28, 2021
Rubin wrote: “if we reveal every step of our roadmap because we want to complete the theme meeting, the competition will always be one step behind. We don’t want to do that. Let’s wait until a real metauniverse appears.” however, Zuckerberg didn’t fully follow this suggestion. His speech on Thursday was bold, but his world is far from ready for the consumer experience.
This demonstration is similar to the animation launched by Pixar, showing the software that the company hopes to develop. It is full of users who stroll and exercise with their own avatars or cartoon avatars. Zuckerberg admitted that this technology still has a long way to go and may take ten years.
Some people believe that Facebook needs to change the topic and distract the public’s attention. Previously, many internal documents disclosed by Facebook’s whistleblower brought many destructive reports.
Rubin has different explanations for this. He said that the company now knows that in order to achieve its arduous mission, it needs to involve others and bid farewell to the tradition of “walled garden”. “This is a long journey and we will work with many different companies. In this case, you can’t keep secrets for too long.” (reviewed by Tencent technology / Jinlu)