Meta has announced a range of features to celebrate Black History Month across its apps, including themed stickers, dedicated programming and AR and VR experiences.
Meta’s main event of focus is will be the launch of its new ‘Metaverse Culture Series’, which will be hosted in Horizon Worlds and Workrooms, and will feature Black thought leaders and creators from across the US discussing their work and influences within these virtual environments.
As explained by Meta:
“In this immersive virtual reality experience, participants will create custom Worlds and explore ways to weave Black culture, heritage and creativity into the fabric of the metaverse. The goal for this year-long series is to provide an accessible entry point into the future of technology for historically excluded, diverse communities.”
It’s interesting to see Meta looking to weave more metaverse-aligned elements into its current activations, especially when the metaverse, as Meta envisions it, is still a long way from reality.
(As an aside, if you want to see more on metaverse vision, you can check out this post).
At the same time, if you’re building the next platform for connection, then embedding cultural influences from the start makes a lot of sense, and it’s good to see Meta considering this aspect in its strategic planning.
In addition to this, Meta’s also hosting various Black History Month events in VR:
“Each week, you can watch a new selection of curated VR content on Oculus TV including an exploration of the unsung heroes of Black Lives Matter by the creatives behind IN PROTEST and a tour of the International Space Station with astronaut Victor Glover.”
Meta’s also hosting a new, cinematic VR experience from Academy Award-winning director Roger Ross Williams which explores the history of restriction of movement for Black Americans, and the creation of safe spaces in communities.
In addition to this, Facebook’s launched a new Lift Black Voices hub, which will host exclusive content from various Black creators.
Users on Facebook and Instagram will also be able to add themed stickers to their posts and Stories, while Instagram is also encouraging users to engage with the event via the #ShareBlackStories.hashtag.
Finally, both Instagram and Facebook will also serve as an AR entry point for a new art installation exploring the influence of Black Americans in shaping culinary culture.
The physical exhibition opens on February 23rd in New York City, but Facebook and Instagram users will be able to access a digital experience via the Facebook or Instagram camera, with a new effect added to each app.
Black History Month serves as a great reminder of the influence of Black culture in all of modern society, while it’s also a good time to put more emphasis on Black-owned businesses, which have been hit especially hard by the pandemic.
On that front, Meta has also published an updated version of its Black Community Cultural Guide, which outlines how business leaders can show their support.
It’s important to pay attention to the broader community, and to consider the role that you and your business can play in enhancing understanding, and these activations and guides could help to develop a more focused strategy around such, while also taking part in the broader celebration.