Reggie Speaks

Whether we know what Facebook Meta's "metaverse" is or not, it's impossible to ignore their push into virtual reality. There have been lots of responses to what they're doing, but this one strikes at the heart of what is going on. Reggie Fils-Amie, the former President and COO of Nintendo of America gave his take on the metaverse at the SXSW conference.

"Facebook itself is not an innovative company,” Fils-Aime told Emily Chang. “They have either acquired interesting things like Oculus and Instagram, or they’ve been a fast follower of people’s ideas. I don’t think their current definition will be successful.”


When it comes to leaders, Fils-Amie is no stranger to seeing companies through good and bad times. His tenure at Nintendo included the Wii and DS. The former was a smash hit with the latter struggling until Nintendo course-corrected. The Wii U console was a dud, but then Nintendo brought the Switch to market. We all know how that's going.

Thinking about everything Meta has rolled out in Facebook's history, it's clear they innovate nothing. Facebook itself was a clone of MySpace. Instagram was a kickass app before it was purchased. WhatsApp too. Marketplace is Craigslist, Stories on Instagram is Snapchat, and Reels is TikTok. The Quest VR headsets, which power this metaverse of theirs was all wrapped up in their Oculus purchase.

What I believe is the cornerstone of Meta's aggressive steps to own VR is simple: they missed the boat on mobile. Apple and Google own the platforms and Facebook couldn't get in on it. They're wholly dependent on someone else's rules and ways of doing business. So if they can get ahead of everyone else on what they think is The Next Thing, they can own the entire platform.