With Zuckerberg’s recent announcement about the rebrand of Facebook to Meta, there’s been a lot of speculation on Reddit about what this so called ‘Metaverse’ is going to look like.
A (very quick) potted history of Metaverse
Metaverse might seem like a new concept, but they’ve actually existed for over two decades now. The origin of a Metaverse dates back to 1992 when Author Neal Stephenson coined the term in his 1992 science-fiction novel "Snow Crash".
Since then, there have been lots of Metaverses created from The Sims to IMVU and Second Life and you or your children may even be playing one without realising it in the form of Minecraft, Pokemon Go or Roblox.
What are the implications of Meta?
Nobody is 100% percent sure of what the Zuckerberg Metaverse will actually look like. The video gives a possible idea, bringing together gameplay, virtual reality and social media, seems to be the best guess. We’ve seen versions of this in movies such as Ready Player One, Free Guy and in TV shows like Caprica and many people are speculating that this is what it could be.
With VR headsets such as Occulus and various other pieces of kit such as gloves, even full body suits you can expect to see lots of illicit behaviour cropping up, after all, pornography is still the most popular use for the internet.
Zuckerberg is suggesting that it will replace the mobile internet and that is a daunting prospect.
Is this the dawn of a new digital era?
Quite possibly. As with any technological advance it doesn’t come in a fully formed version straight away, however if you look at the speed with which social media took over our lives, this could very well be the future of how we communicate.
Facebook, sorry, Meta are already holding meetings in their Metaverse, so it’s further down the development path than you might think.
What does the Metaverse mean for your business?
It means it’s time to look ahead. Even though many businesses are still getting their heads around digital transformation, we can expect things to take a significant paradigm shift into this new virtual reality.
This is likely to impact everything across consumer and business to business markets.
Let’s just look at what that could affect:
Creating new types of assets
The list can expand very quickly. You could be having to think about how your marketing is going to work in a completely immersive digital world, not just on a mobile device but a virtual, augmented world where things are happening in real time and all around you.
There will be so much going on, you’ll have to go beyond graphics and animations and into experiences to cut through the information overload.
You may find that you’re attending meetings in a/the Metaverse, trading and even creating things that are solely for use in a virtual word, where you can earn money that can be applied in the real world.
But all of this has been (relatively) quietly happening already in Second Life. Linden Dollars are the currency that you can buy using your real-world credit card to spend or trade in Second life. You can buy and trade property, creatively contribute and earn Linden dollars and even cash them back out in the real world.
This has been happening for over a decade already, so it could all happen a lot quicker than you imagine. The question is – is your business ready for it?
Will you be an early adopter as it moves towards the mainstream or will you wait to see how it all pans out then frantically play catch up.
We’re working with businesses that are exploring experimentation and looking at futurism to see what potential they could have in this brave new world. This is the kind of thinking that creates serious growth and opens new revenue streams.
Whatever this Metaverse turns out to be, you can bet it will impact on our lives in some way and whether you agree with it or not, there will be opportunities.
If you want to talk about futurism, experimentation and how it can help your business, drop us a line.