What Is The Metaverse? MetaVersus
Unless you’ve been living under a rock the last couple of months, you’ve probably heard some of the hype around the ‘Metaverse’. You know, this notion of a digital second life that has been around for many years.
First coined in the 1982 Sci-fi novel, Snow Crash, the term ‘Metaverse’ refers to a boundless virtual world in which you — or should I say, your avatar — explore the depths of the digital realm. This concept has always resonated with the crowd ever since the Internet came about; so much as to develop entire online communities based on the concept — most notably Second Life, released in 2003.
But up until this point, it hadn’t been feasible to make it a tangible reality. Or well… at least not yet.
Because just in the midst of a large NFT craze that took the world by storm in 2021, Mr. Zuckerberg broke news on a bombshell that will likely reverberate for years to come:
Facebook was officially rebranding to Meta.
Inspired by their newly-found quest to help build the digital lands of tomorrow. And, just like that, a new buzzword hit the headlines; creating a ripple effect that encompassed Silicon Valley and the entire world as a whole.
Top echelon companies like Coca Cola, Gucci, Louis Vuitton and McDonald’s now wanted their slice of the pie — beginning to show interest in the notion of developing a presence in the Metaverse.
Matter of fact, the Metaverse sector is currently projected to become an $800 billion market by 2024; with an already vast market capitalization of $26 billion as of today.
So, this begs the question…
Where are we heading?
Is this proposal for a new virtual universe truly cut out to become the next chapter of the Internet — or are we setting ourselves up for a major dystopian future built on speculative sci-fi?
Well, First Things First: What In The World Is A ‘Metaverse’ In The First Place?
The concept of a virtual world has been around for ages — with fictional touchstones like Tron or Ready Player One popularizing the idea — but the Metaverse is obviously, still light years from coming into fruition.
Picture the Internet back in the early 80s. As it was being laid out, and people were getting their first taste of cyber searching, there was a lot of chatter about what it might look like 20 years into the future. Yet… very few truly understood the colossal impact it would go on to have on society.
The prefix “Meta-” means beyond, and “-verse” stands for Universe. So if we combine the two, ‘beyond the universe’, we get a good picture of what the Metaverse is:
A new world.
An extension of our main reality, in which we can exist and engage in activities that feel just as real as the physical world. Now, it’s important to point out, just like the laws of physics that underpin the physical realm — there are 5 key elements that would serve as the foundation for a virtual universe.
At its core, a true Metaverse is:
- Persistent: Which means, a digital sphere that sees no end. Something that’s available for you 24/7, providing you have a device and connection at your disposal. Just like today’s Internet, the Metaverse needs to be ever-present, and work as a cohesive network that perpetuates throughout time; with no signs of halt whatsoever.
- Interoperable: Users should be able to shift seamlessly through different digital worlds, taking their many digital assets from one scene to the other. Wouldn’t it be cool to purchase an avatar skin in World of Warcraft, and be able to use it in Fortnite? That’s what Interoperability is all about.
- Unlimited in user capacity: There isn’t a limit to the amount of people who can access the Internet at any given time, so why should the Metaverse have one?
- Working in Real-Time: Every user’s experience of the Metaverse should be akin to attending a live concert — everything taking place inside the virtual universe should be witnessed simultaneously; with users participating in real-time.
- A complete economy: Similar to games with in-world economies like Roblox and Fortnite, the Metaverse will allow users to own, trade, and invest in just about anything you can think of. From land to avatar accessories to other forms of services — all on the back of the core crypto technology that underpins it.
So, taking all of these into account, we can define the Metaverse as:
“A collection of immersive digital worlds in which users, businesses, and digital platforms can exist, interact, and trade. Through the help of personalized avatars, users can experience the virtual realm firsthand, collectively and in real-time.”
Now, Why Should You Even Care About This?
Imagine going for a game of Fortnite, but instead of engaging passively as an outsider, you become the main character in the script; by popping up in a digital world where all possibilities are endless — and you get to engage in real-time on all kinds of activities like concerts, games, hangouts and even dates.
Better still, imagine having the ability to own, trade or invest in just about anything that goes around in this world; and shift seamlessly through different digital worlds, taking your hard-earned digital assets from one scene to the other.
This is the main proposition of the Metaverse. Even though the Metaverse doesn’t exist quite yet, there have been two forerunners who have paved the way for Web3 to come to fruition. They are crucial to understanding why the Metaverse could very well be one of the most enduring constructs of humankind — so let’s go through each one:
Virtual/Augmented Reality Technology: Typically when the Metaverse gets thrown around in a conversation, it’s almost always linked to VR in some way. And well, understandably so. In order for the vision of a Metaverse to take place, it would require some basic components of VR, AR, and spatial computing to pull it off — but this technology by itself isn’t the Metaverse.
More than just a virtual world that you get a chance to sneak into every once in a while, the Metaverse is envisioned to become more like an extension of yourself. An ever-present second life — if you so call it.
It’s a real-time online presence that you get to immerse in on an hour clock basis; be it through VR headsets or your own phone.
Blockchain Technology: The core proposal for Web3 is precisely what Tim Berness-Lee, a computer scientist & inventor of the World Wide Web, envisioned as the final stage of his own creation: a Semantic Web. Also known as, a decentralized Internet owned by not one entity in particular — but everyone. A Web that operates entirely based on everyone’s collective decisions.
This is one of the founding principles the Metaverse will stand by, and blockchain technology is at the forefront of powering this vision. With non-fungible tokens (NFTs), anyone can create unique digital assets, such as avatar skins and accessories, that can be used in a virtual realm.
Top brands like Coca Cola are already leveraging this concept in their favor (more on that in a bit) thanks to cryptocurrency. In the Metaverse, users can pay for products or access services just like in the real-world. And this by itself, is likely to produce a bunch of job opportunities and financial growth for plenty of industries out there.
And that unironically, brings us to the next point.
Considering the Metaverse is still at its infancy stage, and that already, a great deal of big brands are invested in the idea, should be enough to convince any skeptic of the true potential the Metaverse holds for the near future.
Not only a cultural and social evolution is at stake here; but an economic one, too. And that’s because at its core, the Metaverse is designed to run as a connected and yet independent economy. One that benefits small creators and big companies at large.
As the world moves closer into making the vision for the Metaverse a reality, some of the world’s biggest verticals will inevitably face a disruption for better or for worse. So quite literally… brands either ride the wave — or they’ll be left behind.
But all things considered, it’s safe to say there’s more than room for everyone to leave a mark on the Metaverse.
The virtual economy is thriving. Just last year alone, sales for digital assets on platforms like Decentraland, Fortnite, Roblox, and the Sandbox went upwards to millions of dollars. Brands are already profiting and unlocking new streams of income from this model — and the craziest part is the Metaverse isn’t even a thing yet!
This does nothing but confirm the massive business opportunity the Metaverse is set to offer. Not only for big brands, but small businesses and creators alike.
6 Verticals That Stand The Most To Gain In The New Digital Age
Games are a quintessential feature of what the Metaverse represents. For the first time in history, players would be able to not only enjoy their lifelong passion in a new and immersive way, but even see financial returns from their efforts.
Based on a study carried out by Deloitte, more than 80% of men and women in the US play some form of video game. And this number only seems to be going up — since PlayStation already predicts the gaming industry to hit $218.7 billion by 2024.
So it’s safe to say, gaming won’t be going away anytime soon. And especially not with such an immersive, fulfilling experience like the Metaverse would provide.
MetaVersus is set to ride this trend in the coming years, by giving birth to a hyper-realistic, virtual gaming economy where players themselves can lead a rich, rewarding virtual life that is perhaps in some cases, more fulfilling and engaging than real life itself.
Other two big players in this vertical are, not surprisingly, Roblox and Epic Games. With Epic making more than $9 billion with Fortnite in 2018 and 2019; and Roblox, whose own virtual world racked up a total of $454 million in Q2 of 2021 alone.
Not bad considering this is just a small taste of the gigantic growth the gaming industry will see due to the Metaverse.
The advent of eCom changed the way people shopped for their products. With sales of approximately $860 Billion across the US in 2021 — the eCom industry has seen a sales increase of 64.7% since the pandemic started.
Yet nevertheless, be it due to the nature of the industry or not, people have quickly grown tired of the sedate online shopping experience they typically go through online. They land on a website, click, see something that sparks their interest, and order. Nothing particularly engaging about the whole process.
Do you remember the era when you had no choice but to go to the mall, and actually try, feel and see the product you were purchasing? We sacrificed the engaging process of going over and trying the product firsthand for personal convenience. And now, we’re longing for a chance to claim it back.
The Metaverse can offer an avenue in which companies can provide new ways for customers to interact with products and services through the sheer working of VR and AR technologies. Virtual malls are already becoming a thing, with Shopify being the frontrunner in creating a tool with which subscribers can build shopping experiences and stores in the virtual world.
It would be interesting to witness how this concept evolves in the coming years, but if one thing is clear… it’s that people will always prefer an immersive experience over a passive one.
You cannot possibly make a credible list of booming markets in the Metaverse without including clothing into the mix.
Outside of the Big 4 tech companies that jumped into the Meta bandwagon early in 2021 — you know, the Facebook’s, Apple’s, Amazon’s and Google’s of the world — plenty of high-end fashion titans were already thinking on how to position themselves with an iron grip into the virtual sphere.
Brands like Balenciaga and Fortnite are partnering to create virtual boutiques in which users can purchase digital outfits to customize their avatars; something that will certainly ring a bell in the culture. Because let’s face it, who wouldn’t want to have the coolest digital drip on the block?
Not that long ago, Ralph Lauren launched a collection of wearables that sold over 100,000 pieces on the spot. And hell, even sports apparel brands are jumping into the action too. Nike recently acquired RTKFT, a company known for creating digital goods; and this will allow the sportswear giant to create exclusive Nike-themed wearables leveraging the power of NFTs. Popular products like the Air Jordans are already being made into buyable virtual items into the Metaverse.
At this pace, the fashion industry might just be one of the highest-grossing industries in the whole Metaverse. Consumers are already spending good money on buying digital wearables for their pre-existing; so what’s going to stop them from doing so in a virtual world in which they can show off their outfits to the crew?
Music is a big part of our everyday experience; and in a virtual world it should only be more so.
Platforms like Roblox & Fortnite have already paved a road for music in a virtual reality; scheduling live digital concerts with artists of the ranks of Travis Scott, Ariana Grande and Lil Nas X within their gameplay. Here, users could already gain a sense of what an immersive musical experience would feel like inside the Metaverse — and things can only go up from there.
What’s more, music in the form of nonfungible tokens (NFTs) is starting to be used in a number of virtual ecosystems to offer social experiences for both artists and fans. This is a massive positive for artists as it gives them a way to turn their art into a crypto asset, and create an instant form of income in the process.
Music NFTs are even starting to merge with digital wearables, creating an even stronger link between music and fashion in the Metaverse. It’s now possible to own an NFT digital wearable that has a 15-second soundtrack attached to it.
So it’s pretty safe to say the Metaverse experience is set to be a pretty melodious one.
How could we leave this article without mentioning one of the key driving industries in increasing NFT popularity last year?
The art world took the NFT world by storm in 2021, producing two out of the Top 5 most expensive NFTs sales throughout the entire year.
And in general, the recent rise of non-fungible tokens has really allowed artists around the globe to profit from their skillset easier than ever; and the same thing will play out in a Metaverse-driven marketplace.
Gucci was one of the most notable brands to hop on the Metaverse art scene early on. A little shy over a year ago, in the wake of Gucci’s first virtual NFT success, gaming platform Roblox partnered with the fashion giant to host a virtual space called ‘The Gucci Garden’ — a two-week art installation that aimed to build brand awareness among Metaverse enthusiasts.
When first entering the area, visitors could view, try on and purchase digital Gucci wearables. And what’s cooler is, as they made their way into the scene, their avatar would absorb elements of the space.
This is a power move from Gucci’s side; as they go about appealing to a younger audience in hopes to grow their presence in the Metaverse ahead of time. Other high-end fashion brands can learn from Gucci’s playbook and start building out the museums and art galleries of the future. This will certainly come in handy when it comes time to sell their digital wearables to consumers.
As technology evolves, and consumers grow accustomed to the advertising tactics employed in every medium, new techniques have to be implemented if you’re looking to come out on top.
The Internet revolutionized the concept of advertising by itself; bringing in fresh techniques such as targeted advertising into the picture. But as the years went on, it became more apparent that users were growing sick of the cutthroat, intrusive ads they get on a day to day.
As the Metaverse comes into fruition, brands should aim to invest in creating richer, less invasive experiences for the consumer; instead of relying on the traditional advertising strategies users have grown so wary of.
A good example of this customer-driven marketing approach is Nike’s recent ‘NIKELAND’. They partnered up with Roblox in hopes to put out a campaign that reflected Nike’s goal to transform sports into people’s lifestyles. It achieves this aim by inviting consumers to a dynamic and connected virtual world — with parks, obstacle courses, tracks, and courts — that offer a real, genuine immersive experience with the brand. It’s only after the visitor has gone through a full interactive experience with the virtual world that Nike takes the chance to promote its products.
No direct pitch is made. And thus, everything comes off as organic.
Strategies like these will really be the holy grail of the advertising landscape in the Metaverse. Businesses should encourage users to engage and participate with their products, and not just pitch them straight away.
Wrapping It Up: Looking Ahead
The Metaverse is still light years away from reaching its full potential. But that is not to say that you cannot prepare for a future in which the virtual meets the physical.
We hope this piece has explained the importance of the Metaverse and how it has the potential to significantly augment human interaction and experience.
Imagine a thriving endless universe full of diverse, highly populated bustling worlds, where millions of active users get a chance to compete, connect and engage with each other on a daily basis. All while benefiting from the broad-ranging opportunities such a compelling universe would bring to the table.
MetaVersus was founded not just to merge the lines between the virtual and the physical, but to give users the ability to receive genuine value and utility for engaging as an active contributor of the MetaVersus society.
Citizens will have the opportunity to lead a rich, rewarding virtual life that rather than replace it, will actually compliment and augment real life.
As we usher in this new age we’ll stay true to our vision to put forth this combined economy driven and powered by users. Each person will not only own the right to join existing digital worlds and communities, but to craft their own vision and connect it to the wider ecosystem.
What a time to be alive.
Follow us for updates and to be one of the first to enter MetaVersus.
Linktree | Twitter | Telegram | Announcements