Indian developers will help in building the bridge connecting Meta’s family of existing apps and the metaverse elements currently being developed by the social media giant, Meta India’s chief said. With internet accessibility to nearly 600-700 million people, coupled with explosive rise in entrepreneurship, India has become the third major pole for Meta outside the US and Europe. Meta’s family of apps (FoA) includes Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, WhatsApp and other services.

In an exclusive interview with BusinessLine, Ajit Mohan, Managing Director, Meta India, said, “Today’s India is remarkably different from the India in mid-to-late 90s. Our working thesis is that India has the opportunity to shape the contours of metaverse, which it didn’t have in the last version of internet.”

He added, “The number of people accessing internet, the quality of access, technology capacity on hardware and software fronts and the quality of entrepreneurs over the last six or seven years have shifted and grown tremendously. We have to embrace the fact that we as a country, can’t just be a consumer of the change, but become a driver of the change.”

Fundamental changes

This belief comes from three major changes fundamentally, he said. Technology capability of India in 2022 has dramatically changed since Facebook started in 2004. By 2024, India is going to have the highest number of developers globally.

Meta wants to build the “enabling access devices and foundational blocks to bring this change”.

“All of this will come alive when developers will start conceiving and imagining their own virtual world. We are not going to build everything (in metaverse), we don’t want to. We are orienting the energy of these developers to build what we call the successor of mobile internet, and that’s one big opportunity. The second is recognising the scale of our apps, a lot of the energy will go into connecting the bridges from apps to the metaverse that we are building. A lot of those bridges are going to be developed in India,” Mohan said.

Training programmes

Meta has launched several programmes in the country to train and upskill various stakeholders of the developer community. One of these programmes involve training 10 million entrepreneurs and 2,50,000 creators. A lot of these creators are going to be creating for the metaverse. Meta has also partnered with the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to train teachers and introduce topics like augmented reality (AR) in the students’ curriculum.

Mohan added that by March 2023, “We will have a very different view of how AR is coming to life on Meta’s platforms. There will be several use cases like beauty and shopping, testing out clothes among others.”