In a futuristic scenario that is becoming increasingly real, big brands are starting to invest their resources in the Metaverse. Between virtual social environments, augmented Reality, NFT and blockchain, it is necessary to acknowledge that the Internet revolution as we know it is still relevant. To date, to continue branding, it is unthinkable not to know its evolutions and not to seize the opportunities that digital offers.
Metaverse: What Is It, And What Is The Current Situation
The future of the Internet has a name. It is called Metaverse, a digital environment experienced by users through virtual Reality, Extended Reality and augmented Reality that incorporates social media, the web and, above all, real life. A revolution that intends to overcome the difference between real and virtual, where the offline becomes increasingly online (and vice versa), where the consumer experience is completely renewed.
This scenario goes beyond the already existing conception of an “avatar” version of ourselves in which it is possible to exchange goods and services in exchange for virtual currencies: the Metaverse, still in an embryonic form today, has the potential to become an epochal revolution in which new forms of involvement and interaction will prevail, in an Internet that will pass from the visualization of contents to total immersion in the experience. Sociality, content creation, commerce and offline life will intertwine, changing how people live, interact, work, buy, get informed and have experience.
Metaverse And Similar: The Marketing Revolution Is Already Underway
The Metaverse combines a mix of marketing tools: live events, e-commerce, social media, and gaming, which will have different applications and are expected to have exciting evolutions in education, work, shopping, and events. It is a space in which we will be able to find ourselves experiencing real shared experiences, significant both from the point of view of the users and from the point of view of the brands as business opportunities.
The Metaverse’s potential represents new opportunities to showcase one’s products, express one’s values and carry out immersive and innovative storytelling. These dynamics, which to most may seem science fiction or just a trend of the moment, are to be kept an eye on because they are increasingly commercially significant: it is no coincidence that already in 2021, Shopify declared that the products shown with AR content (i.e. in Augmented Reality) have a 94% higher sales conversion rate.
Constraints And Obstacles Of The Metaverse: Some Timeless Reflections
However, what is proposed as an Internet revolution has various limitations, which must also be considered for the present, a Metaverse within everyone’s reach will only be possible when there is a performing technology capable of supporting the massive flow of data required, being accessible from anywhere in the world, even from small devices (such as smartphones) and at sustainable costs. Getting enough users to populate these new places is one of the most relevant challenges. After the boom in interest, including in the media, seen in 2020 and 2021 – also thanks to the pandemic with restrictions on the ability to move, meet and work – the enthusiasm for the Metaverse seems to have faded.
To succeed, the Metaverse will have to become a substantial piece of our real life: not a parallel life in which to replicate situations, but a place to have unique and collective experiences without the space and time limits of Reality. Furthermore, it must be considered that there are and will exist many metaverses owned by different companies (for example, Horizon Worlds by Meta, Decentraland, the Chinese Zepeto…), a dimension on which a whole series of assessments are made regarding the risk of closure dynamics.
For example, suppose today, users and creators can avoid the “bubble” effect with the simultaneous presence on different social media (such as Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok, and Twitter …). In that case, the use of podcasts (Spotify, Spreaker, Apple and Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, Audible…) or streaming platforms (Prime, Netflix, Now TV, Disney Plus), given the immersive nature of the Metaverse it is believed that it will be practically impossible to attend more than one each with a different avatar at the same time.
For this, there is a discussion of the need to create a unique Metaverse within which players can operate. Users can use it with the same avatar, similar to today’s web (there is no Internet owner, and it is possible to navigate from different browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, and Edge). Suppose the road to the Metaverse is already uphill due to what we have just said. In that case, one of the most delicate issues will concern user privacy, already a critical issue for companies and those working in digital marketing. The new world’s opportunities worry many who consider it another way to collect even more personal data, but whose management is still to be clarified.
Metaverse: A Ship Ready To Sail
The prerequisites for parallel universes in which to create increasingly interactive experiences are there. Creating fast, safe, ethical, and user-friendly digital infrastructures will take a while. Still, it is essential to start evolutionary processes and move towards these new ways of ” interactive interaction”, which are gaining ground among early adopter users. The Metaverse seems distant, but the themes that concern it are the expressions (accentuated!) of those that already exist: therefore, remaining indifferent to it is no longer allowed.
Following the evolution of the Metaverse and the new technologies connected to it (primarily Augmented Reality and Artificial Intelligence) is essential to understand how the sector moves, follow the experiments of the big brands and seize opportunities for your business. The choices brands make today regarding the “embryonic Metaverse” we face represent a position taken for the same theme of technological evolution and digital marketing tools and contribute to brand positioning.
If your digital strategy already lacks what is now considered the fundamentals of a direct user experience with the brand, such as direct streaming, branded content, and virtual consultancy – to name a few – once the ship of the Metaverse starts setting sail, it will be even more challenging to embark. Better get organized now!