Currently, the Metaverse refers to a world created using virtual and augmented reality. It is a digital space working to alter how humans interact with each other and technology. However, this broad definition is subject to change, particularly as the vision for the Metaverse becomes more clear.
Since Facebook rebranded as Meta in 2021, the hype surrounding the Metaverse has grown exponentially. Everyone, from tech enthusiasts to Fortune 500 companies, appears to be racing to stake their claim in this new virtual space.
Experts project that the Metaverse will add $5 trillion to the global economy by 2030. With the potentially lucrative nature of this digital space, many new developments have become leading tech trends. In this article, we will discuss the newest trends regarding the Metaverse and our picks for what to watch in the future.
New Marketing Platform
Similar to other internet and social networking platforms, the Metaverse is projected to be driven by marketing and advertising revenue. However, unlike the current internet and social media space, the Metaverse is not heavily dominated by any particular company like Google Ads or Facebook Ads. This offers a plethora of attractive marketing and advertising opportunities.
Although marketing in the Metaverse is still developing, companies have already begun to offer digital products and experiences. For instance, Nike has partnered with Roblox, an online gaming platform to create Nikeland, a free immersive sports space. With this partnership, Nike was able to reach Roblox’s global user base and encourage them to engage with the company and its digital and physical products. This is just one example of the Metaverse’s marketing potential and offers other companies an example of what the future of marketing may be.
Decentralization of the Internet
The Metaverse’s integration of blockchain technologies has opened up opportunities to decentralize the internet. Decentralization refers to the process of reorganizing the internet from centralized servers to a peer-to-peer network. Decentralization makes it much harder for one entity from holding the power to censor or remove any content. The decentralized nature of the Metaverse is attractive to users, particularly as many current social media and internet platforms have been caught in major censorship controversies in the past few years.
The decentralized nature of the Metaverse offers a new space for free speech. This does bring about concerns about inappropriate content reaching inappropriate audiences, particularly minors. Therefore, it is imperative to see how blockchain technology providers will navigate these challenges in the future.
Virtual and Augmented Live Events
Another Metaverse trend to watch for is virtual and augmented reality events. The Metaverse offers opportunities for users to engage in interactive experiences from the comfort of their own homes. Users can attend these events through digital avatars and connect with other users in a similar fashion to live events.
These are some of the events being held within the Metaverse:
- Concerts: Blackpink, one of the world’s most famous K-Pop artists, recently hosted a virtual concert and released a new song in partnership with BGMI.
- Job Fairs: Hirect, a recruitment firm, hosted a virtual job fair with over 200 employees.
- Gaming Tournaments: The Metaverse Gaming League has begun bringing live eSports events into the Metaverse by hosting events on Roblox.
Many virtual and augmented reality features in the Metaverse require users to create an avatar to interact with their digital surroundings. As the Metaverse develops, these digital avatars will become more complex and “life-like.” Experts predict that advanced technologies such as motion capture and audio recognition will allow these avatars to act and appear more like the users they are representing.
Currently, companies such as Zepeto, are offering services to customize avatars beyond what traditional Metaverse companies such as Facebook and Roblox are offering. Additionally, having more advanced avatars will open up a new market for digital avatar products such as avatar skins, accessories, and more.
Non Fungible Tokens (NFTs) are digital files held on blockchain technologies. They are most commonly used to store digital art, but can also be used to hold videos and even digital real estate. These files are turned into “tokens” and secured on a blockchain which makes it easy for the NFTs to be purchased, sold, and traded.
In relation to the Metaverse, NFTs are one example of a digital product being sold. Large companies such as Nike and Disney are creating their own NFTs and listing them on Metaverse marketplaces. With NFTs being a new lucrative market for the Metaverse, it is definitely a trend that we need to watch.