What is Metaverse?

10 January 2023

Generally speaking, a metaverse refers to a three-dimensional virtual reality simulation for different things such as entertainment, work, play, education, etc. with a purpose of bringing users together in a way that feels the same as the physical world. When inside this immersive experience, users can manipulate their environment by blends of visuals, technology and sounds. 

Bringing it to the social media world, you may have heard of the word Meta, a term that Facebook coined when they rebranded last year. Meta, short for Metaverse, is Facebook’s attempt in proving their commitment to the metaverse. 

Although the term metaverse has been around for quite some time, large companies like Facebook, Apple, Nike, Fortnite, Roblox and Twitch are taking advantage of this idea and creating more opportunities in this digital space. Now, what does this mean for the future of social media and the digital space as we know today? 

The future of the digital world with metaverse

To make more sense of the metaverse, think of it as virtual reality and augmented reality – meaning, an interactive experience that combines the real world and the digital world. 

A virtual reality refers to a simulated 3D environment, where users interact with a virtual space in a way that mimics physical reality, using our senses. Augmented reality, on the other hand, is less immersive than VR, and adds overlays to the real world using a lens of some sort. 

“The metaverse is the next evolution in social connection and the successor to the mobile internet.”

Meta

When looking into the future, the metaverse is predicted to not be just one connected virtual space, but rather a multiverse – meaning multiple metaverses working independently of each other. 

To give some examples, Meta has already taken actions including building a virtual reality social platform, Roblox is creating user-generated video games, companies are selling NFT-based tokens, Fortnite is creating immersive live virtual concerts, Decentraland launched a digital art gallery, and you can even play some table tennis using a VR headset. 

With this, there’s now a lot of marketing opportunities in selling the idea of “the metaverse”. But is the metaverse to stay, or is it simply a popular buzzword soon to fizzle out? 

The truth is, the metaverse is already here, whether we like it or not. Although it may not be fully Ready Player One, it will likely, and maybe already has, influence our lives in many different ways. 

How does the metaverse work?

The metaverse that we know today is accessed mostly through a browser or headset, where users can interact with others in real time, across any distance. 

Attention outside of the gamer population has increased due to the ability to “own” virtual objects, land and experiences. With that being said, there are entire metaverses based on this economy. 

Another reason for its surge is due to its possibilities beyond the real world. These include things such as: go to places together, use hand gestures, draw on paper, etc. 

What does this mean for businesses?

Although we can’t predict the future, we know that the metaverse has already emerged into the professional world, therefore we must think about what this could mean in the workplace.

The metaverse presents an opportunity to “shrink the world”. This could increase work from home experiences, teamwork, speed up training and tasks, and decrease physical office resources and space. However, this also may lead to job cuts, reduce productivity and cause nausea from the browser or headset. 

Even if businesses don’t want to fully step into this daunted metaverse, being aware of its presence is important when it comes to your targeted audience. With interaction being the main premise, companies need to think about how they can create engaging experiences for their clients. This could mean selling virtual goods or producing a virtual event. 

Metaverse experiences can also come into play with at-home work. This can mean virtual meetings, training and events. 

And lastly, another main contributor to this virtual experience is technology. Whereas building this technology could be too expensive in the real world, it could open opportunities to test models in augmented reality. 

Don’t feel pressured to jump on the Metaverse bandwagon. There are still many unknowns of how this will play out for companies and digital experiences. However, it’s real and in fact present in our society.

Being aware of these nuances in the digital world is important, so you can be ready for the next big changes. 

Anniston Ward Anniston Ward , 10 January 2023

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