Facebook opens first physical store


Meta, the parent company of Facebook, opened its first brick-and-mortar store in Burlingame, California, to showcase products like augmented reality glasses and headsets.

The store, which opened to the public starting Monday, is made for people who want to try out products like Ray-Ban Stories smart glasses, as well as the Portal video calling gadget and Meta Quest 2 virtual reality headsets.

Customers will have to order the glasses from Ray-Ban, but can buy the other products at the store.

“It’s a very concrete step to distance ourselves from social networks and ads that mislead people, and elections, espionage, data and all that stuff; to a very physical representation of clean, sleek, well-designed, ‘cool’ hardware that makes you feel good,” said Omar Akhtar, director of research at Altimeter, a technology investment firm.

Akhtar said he “didn’t believe in virtual reality” until he sat down and tried an Oculus headset for the first time, and he thinks the same will happen to other people who can put on the headsets and try them out. Apple pioneered brick-and-mortar stores in Silicon Valley, and Meta, which owns Instagram and Facebook, probably hopes to replicate at least some of that success.

“The truth is that physical things have never and will never go away,” Akhtar said. “Everyone realizes that even if we’re going to go digital, we’re going to need to access it with hardware.”

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