The metaverse is coming. Or it’s already here. That’s up for discussion. But whichever side of the line we’re currently standing on, we do know that the metaverse has the potential to change the marketing and advertising landscape as we know it.
And with such potential, it’s important for marketers to get more familiar with what the metaverse is, and what it could entail. That way, you (along with Plan B’s guidance!) can make the call on when your brand should enter the metaverse – now as the technology evolves, or later when it’s more established (but everyone might already be doing it).
What is the Metaverse?
The metaverse is often described as an evolution of the internet, or a way that people can socialize, work, and play via 3D avatars in immersive digital environments that use virtual or augmented reality (VR/AR) technology. As a universe that is “always on,” the metaverse exists in real time and spans both the virtual and physical worlds on multiple platforms.
Where the metaverse really gets interesting is how its description is so broad that it’s open to interpretation. The general consensus is that the metaverse will be a virtual world that acts as a second “reality” in which users can experience virtual spaces that make up a universe.
However, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg – who, not coincidentally, changed his company’s name to Meta – and Microsoft CEO Sataya Nadella see things a little differently. They see the metaverse as something that someday in the distant future will be a virtual world where people widely will work, play and socialize. But they also see the metaverse as something that exists now as an immersive digital experience that marries a host of existing technologies such as VR headsets, mobile devices, personal computers, and cloud-connected servers.
Why should Marketers care about the Metaverse?
While the metaverse might appear to be another gaming trend, the ability to exchange real currency within makes it much more. For example, Second Life – a 3D virtual world in the metaverse (right now) – has an economy that runs on Linden Dollars, which can be bought with and converted into real U.S. dollars. The incorporation of real currency into the metaverse andthe possibility of businesses profiting off of it makes it possible for businesses to make real money on this platform.
This decade, the global metaverse market is anticipated to increase at a compound annual growth rate of 47.6 percent, from $100.27 billion in 2022 to 1.527 trillion by 2029. With numbers like that, it’s clear why marketers are keeping their eye on the metaverse.
Not only does VR allow for businesses to make real money, but Advertising in VR has the possibility to be very impactful on consumers. VR allows people to experience stories that leave real memory traces. This type of advertising offers the opportunity for extreme engagement while allowing users to get a better feel for the product. This form of engagement is so impactful because it is designed so that you are solely focused on the brand’s craft without any outside distractions.
What’s in store for the Metaverse in 2023?
It’s difficult to predict exactly what the metaverse will look like in 2023, but some say we are likely to see more immersive experiencesin everydaylife and even in the workplace. Integrating metaverse-driven technology into workplace collaboration efforts is seen as a potential way to keep employees more engaged while increasing productivity. For example, Last year, Microsoft announced Mesh, a Teams feature that blends the existing modes of “together” and “presenter” to make remote meetings more immersive.
While many current workplace metaverse solutions require no more than a computer and keyboard keys, the future of workplace and virtual could become much more through the metaverse. From virtual viewing windows that create holographic displays of computer images and specially designed holographic pods that project people and images into an actual space, to haptic (touch) gloves that enable users to interact with 3D virtual objects and experience sensations such as movement, texture, and pressure, the meetings and events of the future could reach whole new levels of engagement.
Although the metaverse won’t become fully developed during 2023, it’s important for businesses and marketers to get familiar with lest you fall behind on what could be one of the biggest evolutions of the internet since Google.