On October 2021, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg introduced Meta and with it introduced the company’s strategy to focus on developing Metaverse which will allow people to bridge their physical and digital lives. The company’s stock jumped 4% on the same day. Meta has invested close to $10 billion towards development of Metaverse via Facebook reality labs. CEO said in the company’s earning call
"Metaverse is a major area of investment for us and an important part of our strategy going forward. Our goal is to help the metaverse reach a billion people and hundreds of billions of dollars of digital commerce this decade"
Certainly, Metaverse is a big buzzword for 2022 which begs the question what Metaverse is and why a normal human should be concerned about it. This article focuses on exploring the concept of metaverse and why it is so special.
What is Metaverse?
In simple terms metaverse can be explained as a seamless integration of physical and digital lives. A perfect example would be the movie Ready Player One, wherein characters in the movie can play a interactive VR game with all the components of a real world inside the game. At this stage how metaverse is going to evolve is still a not clearly defined. Its actual definition is still evolving and will take time to become stable. But one theme is certain that there will be no one singular metaverse but rather multitude of metaverses each with their own purpose, catering to a particular community of people. This will be achieved by an immersive 3D layer to the web interaction to enable more real, authentic social interactions.
It is also important to understand the building block of metaverse in web3.0 and how it will be different from web2.0. This is shown in the table below.
Why Metaverse is coming up now?
An obvious question that comes up is why metaverse is coming up right now. Well, the concept of an interactive digital world is not new. We are having open world games where players can live the life as they want. But now there are several new technologies that are coming together to create this fusion.
The metaverse’s rise could be attributed to development in technology and ecosystem under 14 themes which are explained in the diagram below.
Under the technology aspect, the techniques like User interactivity, AI, Blockchain, Computer vision,IOT will enable to interact with the elements inside the metaverse. The Users can access the metaverse through extended reality whereas the edge computing aims to improve the performance of applications to reduce bandwidth and delay. Cloud computing aims to reduce storage capacity issues and the scalability of the solution.
Under the ecosystem aspect, it talks about the independent virtual world like the real world. Humans can use their avatars to interact in this virtual world. Their activities will lead to the rise of trade and commerce inside the digital world driving the virtual economy. These activities will be supported by the trust & accountability which is enabled by security & privacy leading to more mainstream social acceptability of life in a metaverse. Content creation will be the driver of value in the metaverse.
These developments which was accelerated by the pandemic has changed consumer behavior. The idea of enjoying daily aspect of human lives while staying inside the home which seemed impossible few years back, now seems possible. Rapid technological development along with changing consumer behavior has set the stage to metaverse.
What are the opportunities Metaverse provide?
Content creators- Metaverse is going to be largely driven by content. Products and services will be sold by content creators. Imagine your favorite Instagram influencer creating their own metaverse and you get to interact with them with your digital avatar.
Advertising & Marketing- Key to a successful Metaverse is getting people to spend time in your metaverse, interacting with the metaverse, buying & selling products inside the metaverse. Advertising and marketing are going to a critical element to attract people to a particular metaverse. It will also play a critical role in making you buy the products and services in this metaverse. Metaverse will fundamentally change the way marketing is done.
Metaverse developers- Metaverse will require people to develop a huge number of engineers to software developers to develop the entire ecosystem and keep it running. From developing the metaverse, to developing the crypto currency that would be used inside the metaverse. Everything will require talented developers
Chief Metaverse Officer- With the rise of metaverse we could see a new executive level position in the company. This position will be responsible to guide the companies inside the metaverse and formulating it’s metaverse strategy.
Rise of decentralized Finance – Just like in the real world, where you would require financial services, metaverse will also require financial services but this won’t be owned by a particular bank but rather decentralized, running on block chain.
Metaverse is going to be driving force in the future which will affect every aspect of our lives. Metaverse will infiltrate every sector and will potentially drive upto $1 trillion USD in revenues.