Facebook earlier today announced the name change “Meta” but, more importantly, they emphasised;
“We’re now metaverse first”
But what is the metaverse?
The metaverse is not a new concept, software developers have been fantasizing about the metaverse since the 1960s. In its most basic form, the metaverse is a virtual space that allows anyone to log in and; meet up, talk, and more interestingly even shop in this virtual space.
If you’ve ever played the Sims online, you already have a very good understanding of how a metaverse works. You have your avatar, and you can interact with other users. Other games such as; World of Warcraft, Runescape, Minecraft, Grand Theft Auto and Fortnite are all more basic versions of a metaverse.
The big differences:
Unlike online games, the metaverse holds a few unique aspects;
It’s not only for gamers
The metaverse is designed so that anyone can participate. You’ll only need a few gadgets and an account to login into the metaverse.
NFTs – Non-fungible tokens
In games, your “assets” are held by the game developer, and they can control how they can be used. In the metaverse, your own your “resources”, and you decide how to use/exchange them. This is done through blockchain technology, where each digital asset you have in the metaverse is signed to your account, and no one can take it away from you.
The big shift for business?
There are many reasons to be excited about the metaverse :
What will an online shop look like in the metaverse?
The sheer amount of designers and developers working on the metaverse makes it almost impossible to predict what a store might look like in the metaverse. But, we have some predictions.
It will be a unique experience
Online shops have already broken many barriers that pave the way for the metaverse. We can buy online, we can use hundreds of payment methods, we can have virtual tours, and so much more.
But, the metaverse offers this fully immersive experience, and there are virtually no limits to what can be “built” in the metaverse. Thus we predict that shopping in the metaverse will hold very unique experiences.
- A scuba diving shop in the metaverse might exist “underwater”.
- A football club store might allow you to “meet” your idols while shopping.
- You might be welcomed by your favourite superhero as you shop from a comic store.
Can we advertise in the metaverse?
Yes! But this is where it also starts getting a little fuzzy. The metaverse doesn’t have boundaries, it can keep expanding forever. Also, in the metaverse advertising will be similar to conventional marketing; such as billboards. This means that the value of a “billboard” in the metaverse will quickly decrease, as users expand.
How do we travel in the metaverse?
We already mentioned that the metaverse is always expanding so how does one go from one point to another?
One can go for a stroll, drive, fly, and even teleport from one point to another. Now that’s cool!
But it begs the question; How will we be able to find the parks, shops, and other attractions in the metaverse? We predict that companies such as Google & Facebook will be investing in creating search engines for the metaverse. Very similar to how we use Google & Facebook today, with the added functionality of; “Teleport me to there”.
The metaverse is the next evolution in technology and whoever you are, you should start learning more about it.