From Facebook changing its name to Meta to every other start-up building for the Metaverse, it is all the rage these days. As of 2021, the Metaverse market is valued at $209.77 Billion and is expected to grow to $716.5 Billion by 2027.
Such phenomenal growth is powered by the promise of a digital world combining best-in-class technologies like AR, VR, and blockchain to give a 3D version of the internet - Metaverse.
3D version of the internet? The digital world today is two-dimensional. For instance, games like Minecraft, PubG, etc., are a 2D version of the internet. Social interaction is also two-dimensional with social media sites because the internet only gives you access to these digital worlds, whereas the Metaverse takes you inside the internet to experience these digital worlds in real-time.
Mark Zuckerberg describes the Metaverse as “an embodied internet that you’re inside of rather than just looking at.”
Read about the Metaverse in detail here.
Why is Metaverse a Big Deal?
You would agree that we live in a digital-first world - a place where online presence is as important as real-life presence, if not more.
For instance, over 80% of consumers shop online. Nearly half of the world’s population plays online video games, and metaverse enables us to do all of this and more in a fully interactive version of the web.
You can think of it as a parallel world, where you can do everything you could in real life using your digital avatars. You could go shopping, network, work, play, etc. And for that, it uses technologies like virtual reality, augmented reality, mixed reality, and of course, the base layer, blockchain.
Why do we even need this? Good question!
Did anybody ever think we would need Gmail as much as we do today or even social media in the early 1990s? Not really, but one day a person made them, and since then, nobody has looked back.
The same goes with the Metaverse; we don’t know how much we need it until we have one. And from the promise that it is making, it seems really attractive - An immersive web.
Besides, until now, interoperability and ownership have been two of the biggest hassles of the internet that Metaverse solves.
For instance, you don’t ‘own’ the in-game items (assets) you buy in Minecraft, etc. If the game shuts down tomorrow, you don’t have any control over it, and everything you have built in the game will be gone. Same for social media sites and other services on the internet. Additionally, whatever happens in Minecraft stays in Minecraft. But in a Metaverse, you can move your digital avatars from Minecraft to Roblox to any other game. Additionally, you own everything that you buy in the Metaverse in the form of NFTs - You can sell them as you wish.
No one knows what a Metaverse in action would look like, but this is how it is supposed to be. It is an elevated version of the internet, and who doesn’t like an upgrade 😉
The Scope of Metaverse
It is a parallel universe, so you can pretty much monetize everything that you could in real life using NFTs and cryptocurrencies. Metaverse has its economy powered by businesses, users, creators, and infrastructure providers.
As far as the scope of Metaverse is concerned –
- Couples are getting married in the Metaverse
- Gamers play games in it, with platforms like Sandbox hitting 2Mn users
- People are running to buy property in the Metaverse, with sales topping $500Mn in 2021 and expecting to double this year
- 45.8 Million people showed up for Travis Scott’s Astronomical show
And as people increasingly spend more time in the Metaverse, making it the new social network, brands are also following suit.
- Nike, Gucci, Balenciaga, and Samsung have already set up shops in the Metaverse - Samsung’s Metaverse platform sold NFTs worth $71.8 million in one week, while Gucci sold a Roblox handbag for more than $4,000
- Disney filed a patent for a “virtual-world simulator,” to reproduce one of the company’s theme parks into a 3D realm
- Hyundai Motor Company launched Mobility Adventure, a Metaverse space on Roblox featuring Hyundai Motor’s products and future mobility solutions/li>
- Warner Bros. Pictures hosted a virtual party on Roblox to promote the summer film “In the Heights.” The party brought the music, dance, and Latin American culture of the film’s iconic Washington Heights neighborhood to the Roblox Metaverse
The Future of Metaverse (or should we say - Metaverse is the Future!)
There is no question about how big of a theme it is. People are already digital beings, and the Metaverse only alleviates their digital experience, which they appreciate, from the numbers above.
The fact that it is not just a place to network, attend events and play games, but it allows you to do it all and more is phenomenal. Aside from brands and users, venture capitalists are also optimistic about its potential and are set on backing companies building for it. And it is only a matter of time before we will see a fully functional Metaverse.