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Because so many channels discuss the metaverse and offer contradicting ideas, people are still confused in understanding what the metaverse will look like and how it will relate to them. Marketers are especially curious about the new opportunities it will present for engaging with customers and spreading brand awareness.
Look through the top ten frequently asked questions about the metaverse to learn more about this emerging virtual world.
The metaverse is an immersive world that combines virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). It’s designed to help people connect socially and perform tasks like gaming, socializing, entertaining, shopping, and exploring.
The metaverse is parallel to the physical world and builds on real people and events. It often overlaps in AR experiences like viewing furniture in a room before purchasing the right match or trying virtual outfits on when online shopping.
The following ten questions are a combination of consumer and marketer questions about the metaverse and its impact on the future of social connection.
Yes, the metaverse is a real concept.
The metaverse sounds like an idea straight out of a science fiction novel because it is. The term is credited to Neal Stephenson’s sci-fi novel “Snow Crash,” which explores the idea of a virtual world that people enter to live a second life.
The metaverse that is headlining in the media today is different from what the novel envisions it to be. The metaverse in development will connect your online experiences in a more immersive and social way.
However, that universe isn’t in the real world with tangible elements. Instead, it’s an entirely virtual metaverse or augmented experience that builds upon reality.
The metaverse is still in development, but businesses are already investing in platforms and technology for the metaverse.
Mark Zuckerberg announced Meta’s plans for entering the metaverse alongside the disclaimer that the metaverse may take several years to arrive. However, despite that statement, you will still see dozens of images or promotions for platforms that claim to be the metaverse.
The confusion around whether the metaverse exists is understandable because it both exists and doesn’t. The metaverse that will arrive is a unified and connected experience like browsing the internet. What currently exists are isolated platforms that you can’t cross, developed by individual companies.
People often ask a similar question: How many metaverses are there?
There are over 160 companies creating metaverse platforms and contributing technology.
There are limitless possibilities in the metaverse for consumers and businesses. As a consumer, you can:
Currently, one of the largest markets within the metaverse is gaming. Businesses across all industries are creating their own VR games for consumers to help promote products and interact with customers.
As a marketer or brand, you can use the metaverse and VR to spread awareness and sell products through hosting virtual events, using influencer marketing, owning a virtual shop, and offering NFT assets.
No one owns the metaverse. It’s like the internet and exists for people to tap into using their own technology and brands to access using their own platforms.
A common misconception is that Mark Zuckerberg owns the metaverse because he rebranded Facebook as Meta. This rebranding wasn’t him taking possession of the metaverse. Instead, it was his way of aligning with it because his future vision involves transitioning social interactions to the metaverse.
While he is one of the most significant contributors to the metaverse and associated technology, he isn’t the only one. Here are a few other prominent investors and developers who are also creating platforms in the metaverse:
The metaverse is very diverse and can include any combination of VR or AR experiences. The most common example associated with the metaverse is platforms like Decentraland. On that platform, you create an avatar. That avatar can build a home, purchase products, socialize, attend events, and live a parallel virtual life.
The metaverse is more than just a virtual life.
For example, Microsoft’s metaverse improves business interactions, like their avatar meetings that can replace video conferences. Other metaverse concepts include Amazon’s AR experience that lets shoppers view furniture in their homes or Netflix’s immersive entertainment that gives the viewer control of a story.
Since the metaverse isn’t a physical place, you can’t get into it. However, you can access it through metaverse platforms using technology designed for the platform’s unique experience. A laptop computer or mobile device is all you need to access an AR or VR experience in some cases.
When dealing with larger platforms like The Sandbox and Roblox, you will need more equipment like a regular headset or VR headset.
Since Meta acquired Oculus, they’ve pushed their Meta Quest 2 VR headset for accessing the metaverse. While the Oculus does let you enter VR platforms, it isn’t the only option. Other similar headsets include:
AR and VR will play a significant role in the metaverse and accessing experiences or data. Even though they are vital components, they aren’t the only way to access the metaverse. You will need to wait to see how the metaverse develops to see what it will look like in the future. For now, many people can access the metaverse experiences on regular devices like desktops and smartphones.
Brands have different options for entering the metaverse, including:
Since the metaverse is still in its infancy, the best strategy you can use is to develop the strategy you have now. Investing in your current social media and marketing strategies will help you build awareness and transition to the metaverse.
Marketers will have a larger audience in the metaverse since they can network with people from around the globe through their virtual stores, NFT auctions, virtual events, and more. A larger audience is just the tip of the iceberg for what you can accomplish on the metaverse.
The metaverse will transform marketing into a highly personal experience. Through VR and AR, consumers can discover and try products for themselves. They won’t have to rely on celebrities or detailed ads to explain products and their benefits. Instead, they can interact with products for themselves.
Brands can also be more transparent through the metaverse since consumers can access more information about a business and its values. This can increase customer loyalty and trust, so you can spend more time engaging customers.
Travis Scott made $20 million from his 9-minute virtual concert on the metaverse gaming platform, Fortnite, showing there is an audience for influencers and entertainers. Influencer marketing is on the rise, and the metaverse is another platform that allows them to interact with their followers more meaningfully.
A unique angle that the metaverse will add to influencer marketing is new collaboration opportunities. Instead of marketers working on their individual platforms, they can work side by side and engage viewers together. This collaboration is also possible for influencers that engage with businesses.
This last question is often asked but has just as many answers as people asking the question. Technology has the potential for extreme good and creates new dangers if society doesn’t balance or control its use. The metaverse is a prime example of this careful balance.
On the positive side, the metaverse will bring friends and family closer together and connect people to strangers they would never have otherwise met. It also allows people who are limited in their mobility to experience life beyond their limitations.
The metaverse offers multiple opportunities for remote businesses models, telehealth, and immersive education through VR and AR technology.
On the other side, because the metaverse is still new, there are not many rules protecting users, their data, and their digital purchases. In addition, there is no data available about the long-term effects of immersing yourself in a virtual environment and how your virtual interactions might affect your real-life social life.
The best protection consumers and businesses can acquire is to educate themselves on the positive and negatives potentials within the metaverse and take proactive steps to protect themselves, their data, and any digital assets they buy and sell within their platforms.
If you have further questions about the metaverse, talk with our content experts, who stay on top of the latest marketing and social media trends. In addition, we can help you upgrade your social media strategy and connect with social media influencers in your industry.
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