Ever since Facebook announced its name change to Meta, the technology space has been filled with the term “metaverse.” How will this new virtual world fundamentally change the way people work? How does the metaverse affect marketing?
With the continuous rise of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), the metaverse has penetrated the internet. It is estimated that nearly 85 million users will experience AR or VR at least once a month by 2021.
But what exactly is the metaverse? Although the term was first coined in the science fiction book Snowfall by Neal Stephenson in 1991, its new relationship can be attributed to both of change to The Facebook brand “Meta” as well as popular avatar -based games like Fortnite .
Science fiction writer Neal Stephenson coined the term “metaverse” in his book Snowfall (1991), who used it to refer to a computer-generated universe. Usually it is a very immersive shared virtual world where people gather to play, socialize and work. It is also tied to the development of Web3.0, which some say will be the next chapter in the existence of the internet-a chapter built on blockchains that, in theory, would democratize access and power and weaken to hold the largest technology company.
But let’s keep it simple. The metaverse is hyperrealistic, immersive and interactive shared virtual space through the use of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). There can be multiple virtual worlds within a metaverse, where people can engage in a wide range of activity as a result of the mix between physical and digital. Instead of looking at one screen like you do now, in a metaverse you can be inside all of your online experiences, like shopping, meeting friends and family, going to a concerts, completion of official documents, and so on.
From another point of view, it is possible to describe the metaverse in two ways.
- One is a direct parallel to the internet as we know it today
- The other consists of many products that serve as online spaces where people can interact in an immersive way.
So, let’s say the metaverse (capital “M”) is the Internet; Metaverses (small ‘m’) are platforms created by Facebook, Microsoft, Nvidia and associates that provide context and provide specialized products needed for specific use cases.
With this in mind, many brands and retailers are starting to see the same potential behind the metaverse and this potential is invigorating the marketing industry.
The metaverse relies on people spending a lot of time – and, sometimes, money – primarily in virtual environments. So it’s no surprise that the first examples often focus on one thing: video games.
The Roblox Platform , for example, allows players to live in worlds created by other users, leaving the design community. They have also recently started experimenting with interactive ads, which give marketers more freedom than product placements or simply placing an ad at the level of a static video game. They create a mixed experience that changes as players move through the games, giving ads a way to survive.
hyundai also benefited. The automaker has created its own Roblox level where all cars belong. He entered the metaverse to find a younger base on his home turf – games – and aimed to “nurture lasting relationships with fans”.
In May 2021, Gucci also opened the Gucci Garden at Roblox, a virtual experience to add a real-world installation called Gucci Garden Archetypes, taking place in Florence, Italy. Vogue Business revealed that people can “interact with others exploring space and purchase digital pieces created in collaboration with Roblox creator Rook Vanguard.”
With the exposure of more than 43 million daily active users of Roblox, it’s easy to see why brands are jumping at the chance to stand out.
But that’s not all. The metaverse offers another unique opportunity for digital marketers: a new way to collect data and understand user behavior. A survey showed that 65% of Gen Z consumers spend on a virtual object, such as a character mod or special equipment, that is only in the game.
Today, there is no limit to what digital marketers can do. But metaverse or not, marketers have to design interactive experiences that spark engagement and thus create real relationships.