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The Metaverse – how’s it going?

June 22, 2022 / Reading Time: 3 minutes /
Robin Cooke
Account Director

The term ‘Metaverse’ is surely going to be added to the Oxford English Dictionary this year due to its widespread use in everything from retail to leisure. It’s a term that has been bandied around for a while now, most notably since Facebook rebranded as Meta. The move, made in October 2021, was a clear statement of what they believe is going to be the most important, seismic shift in how we interact in the coming years. But what is it? Is it real? Is it a fad? And how will it apply to you and your business? I’ll try and demystify some of these questions – but spoilers – it’s coming, like it or not, and it’s going to be exciting.

What is the Metaverse?

The term Metaverse was first coined in the science fiction novel ‘Snow Crash’ by Neal Stephenson in 1992 and the idea is that it comprises a set of linked services or spaces that can be accessed via a 3D, interconnected world, but also via other more traditional means via web 3.0.

It’s also fundamentally linked to the blockchain and integrations of NFTs and cryptocurrency. Games like Fortnite are already doing this by hosting events and concerts within their ecosystem, but it’s not to the scale that Meta could potentially operate at with its ownership of its VR platform, the Meta Quest, and the biggest social networks on the planet.

Couple that with the fact that Mark Zuckerberg is hiring 25,000 new employees to work on the Metaverse over the next five years and you start to understand how this could potentially change the way we all communicate and live our online lives. Amazon, Microsoft, Disney and numerous other organisations are investing heavily in this area too, so it’s serious business. 

 

Is it just a fad?

The initial idea of everyone living in a “Ready Player One” world is what everyone thought the Metaverse would be, but that side of things just isn’t what it’ll end up as at all.

Like most new technology, the Metaverse will likely end up being used in unpredictable and unusual ways in comparison to how it was originally conceived. It’s easy to downplay the significance of this and put it down to being a flash in the pan, but due to its investment and adoption by mainstream companies who control much of our lives already, it’s not to be ignored. 

 

Tech like VR is already consumer tech and priced accordingly, our devices that stay with us every moment of our lives are Web 3.0 ready and incorporate much of what the Metaverse is about already, like augmented reality, and the blockchain has been quietly bubbling away in the background of the web for years, ready to be adopted for the right purpose. 

 

The Metaverse isn’t going to suddenly appear and take over your lives – it doesn’t even exist yet. All we have is a set of disparate online worlds with promise, like The Sandbox – but gradually and invisibly, it will appear in our everyday lives and be adopted by us all. It’s important we all stay aware of this so that when the time comes, you and your business aren’t left behind or caught unawares.

 

Why should you care?

This will undoubtedly become part of the fabric of the web as we know it in time, and to be aware, part of the conversation and thinking about how you and your business might become part of it is a key consideration in the coming year.

With the blockchain becoming an increasingly vital part of the web, VR and augmented reality offers so many possibilities. Buying a house? You can view the property in VR and then store the deeds as an NFT on the blockchain with a full history available at all times. Getting married? Do it virtually in the place of your choice – real or imaginary with guests from across the globe. Meeting clients? Do so in a virtual meeting room, sharing documents and collaborating immersively. Hosting an event? Invite people from all over the globe and interact in a more meaningful way than flat 2D meetings.

It’s not all virtual though; you can sell NFTs to give real-life benefits such as exclusive access to events, meet-and-greets, and physical objects. The ability to sell an item and the original creator of that object can get a portion of the proceeds through NFTs is another good example – allowing people and businesses to control their IPs better and benefit from resales of their products is a brilliant example of how this change will benefit a number of people.

 

Until the Metaverse is fully formed (which may never fully happen – what’s ever ‘complete’ online?) it’s going to be an interesting journey. At Clicky, we’re fascinated by what possibilities this presents to ourselves and our clients, and we’ll continue to research this area and bring opportunities to the stage when they become clear. In the meantime, we’re in it for the ride!

 

If this has piqued your interest, please get in touch with me on LinkedIn or drop me an email, and I’ll happily have a chat with you about it. New technology offers so many possibilities and I’m excited to see where it takes us!

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