October 2021 marked a pivot moment for all those digitally active as Facebook rocked the social media and marketing worlds by unveiling the parent company’s rebrand as Meta. The announcement has had a profound effect on its massive user base. Facebook had 2.8 billion monthly users worldwide as of June 2021, with 69% of American adults using the network. Meta has also acquired mobile apps Instagram and Whatsapp, which are used by an additional 3.3 billion people worldwide, as of October 2021.
With the enormity of Meta’s global reach and proliferation among app users of all ages, worldwide, the renaming was perceived as a bold move. This also involved staking a claim to a moniker closely resembling the term “metaverse.” The metaverse was conceived way back in the 1992 novel “Snow Crash,” by Neal Stephenson. It is also brought to life in the novel and movie “Ready Player One.”
Components of Metaverse
To begin with we go down to the different segments that make up the metaverse – the concept that many marketers use synonymously with Web 3.0.
- Virtual reality (VR), is a simulated experience that can be similar to or vastly different from real-world experiences and can be created using softwares.
- Augmented reality (AR), is an interactive experience of a real-world environment. Here the objects within the real world are enhanced by computer-generated perceptual information – at times across multiple sensory modalities, including visual, auditory, haptic, somatosensory, and olfactory.
- Virtual worlds, like in-video game experiences like concerts by music superstars or all-virtual conferences and shopping events
- Digital economies are web-based landscapes facilitating the creation of, purchasing of, and selling of goods
- Digital personas and virtual identities, like those that are currently created and used across gaming platforms
- Virtual meeting rooms and cyber houses are used for both work meetings and social gatherings
Opportunities in the Metaverse
1. In-Gaming and Standalone Gaming Opportunities
Gaming of all kinds has steadily risen in popularity over the past decade. Statista reveals that the video game market global market value is expected to exceed $200 billion in 2023. Mobile gaming in the U.S. alone was worth approximately $10 billion in 2019. This is expected to surpass $11.35 billion by 2025.
2. Create Unique Goods / NFTs / Collectibles
Collins Dictionary declared “NFT” to be the word of the year for 2021 in November of the same year. NFT, short for “non-fungible token,” is digital data that records the identity of the owner of a virtual collectible or piece of digital artwork. NFTs, digital collectibles and other virtual unique goods and digital assets are increasingly in demand these days, thus, making them a perfectly suitable for the metaverse.
3. Offer Virtual Shopping Experiences
Augmented reality has opened up more ways to shop today. AR allows consumers to “try on” glasses in a mobile app. They may have trials on interior design ideas virtually before purchasing furniture. Virtual avatars wear virtual shoes determining how they’d look. Even digital-only clothing is increasingly growing into an in-demand commodity, especially when it’s unique. In 2018, a blockchain-based digital fashion platform was launched by The Fabricant Studio with a focus on metaverse fashion. Its first digital-only dress sold for $9,500.
4. Enable Virtual Experiences for Events & Conferences
Yet another outcome of the duration of the pandemic is that most in-person events were either canceled or moved to completely virtual platforms. That has turned out to be good news for marketers in the metaverse, as virtual events make it possible for companies to host more attendees and reach out to more people.
5. Customizations for Avatars & Holograms
It is imagined and anticipated that in the future, people may have the choice to communicate with their friends and peers more frequently in their avatar form than in person. Avatars and holograms make for digital representations of people in the virtual world. These can also be projected into our actual physical worlds. Avatars are widely used in mobile and console gaming. Holograms and virtual avatars have also performed at music festivals like Coachella and on television shows like “Alter Ego.”
Also Read: What connects the Metaverse and the Crypto?
People who participate in their own metaverse communities have the opportunity to promote your brand among their virtual friends and contacts. Marketers have the choice to explore brand-sponsored metaverse events, branded features like clothes for avatars, and branded collaborations, like in-game sponsorships, increasing their reach and building community.