“We believe the metaverse will be the successor to the mobile internet, we’ll be able to feel present – like we’re right there with people no matter how far apart we actually are.” (Zuckerberg, 2021)
From your backyard to your television screen on both cable and video games; introducing the future of the digital world and landscape... the Metaverse. Hello there, my name is Josh Horvath of twelverays.com and we will be discussing the newly founded and future-leaning world of the Metaverse and everything businesses like yours can succeed in such a digital world. This is a technology that allows users to express themselves, be themselves in ways humanity has never thought possible; immersive in such a sense that you will be able to do whatever you wish. Join me, on this journey as we explore the future and what beholds in these virtual spaces, not just for businesses, but for all of us.
What Is The Metaverse
Imagine a virtual world or even a virtual space where you can have digital experiences that humans have never thought was possible; this... is the metaverse. Now, the term 'metaverse' originated back in 1992 and author Neal Stephenson and his novel Snow Crash, however, this is not what we are speaking about today. Re-branding from Facebook to Meta in October of 2018 is what we are speaking about; the future looking digital land and digital space that the company has in the vision for the future.
The user experience, the feeling of a presence within a new world with your digital avatar; everything from going shopping one second to joining a friend a concert the next. The metaverse prides itself as a project that is not built by a single company, but rather by every single one of us. Building 3D spaces that let you learn, work, play and so much more.
I know what you're thinking, isn't the internet on my screen that's on my computer just the metaverse? Not exactly, the internet is like the metaverse in its baby stages, the previous generation of the internet; the metaverse experience lets you go inside the internet through virtual reality and augmented reality. Buying plots of land, as highlighted by Snoop Dogg's entrance into the NFT, cryptocurrency, and meta-sphere universe through his tweet in September of 2021.
Who's Using The Metaverse
Okay, so Snoop Dogg is in the metaverse, but he's a celebrity, who exactly besides big stars like him are using or are going to use the metaverse in the now and the future? To answer a long answer short, asking who is going to use the metaverse is like asking who uses the internet; eventually, everyone will. Socializing with your friends at virtual events, joining other gamers in the metaverse as some type of new gaming platform to have brand new game experiences, walking on the ground of mars with other students as part of your college course, or even the marketing coordinator who needs to have a quick meeting with clients halfway across the world...together.
What if instead of reading about ancient Roam, you could be there? Students and Professors alike will be partaking in the use of the metaverse with new ways new teach, learn, explore, and collaborate on projects. Possibilities exist such as being with your class as your watch the Eiffel Tower being built or walking through the markets of the disastrous 1930s in Paris, France to learn about life in WW2. The metaverse is already in use today with apps such as 'OSSO VR' which is a virtual reality surgical training device for medical professionals to gain hands-on training. As mentioned by Harvard Business Review, "...training on the Osso VR platform improved participants’ overall surgical performance by 230% compared with traditional training methods." (Blumstein, 2019). As part of the initiative to help build up the next generation; Meta is putting $150 million to train the next generation of individuals who will create immersive content in the Metaverse; these individuals can gain accredited certification for curriculum such as Metas Spark AR course on Facebook.
Covid-19 has brought in the use of remote work, otherwise known as working from home; as we transition back into the office, professionals will be looking for innovative ways to continue the hybrid model. Just imagine, you put on your augmented reality glasses at Starbucks, such as Ray-Bans Smart Glasses and you're able to pull up a 3D schematic of a building you're designing to have a meeting with a client in Japan. The Metaverse will allow such opportunities; Horizon Workrooms is a virtual workspace/office that allows employees to tune out the outside distractions of the real-life world and work in the metaverse. Future support includes allowing company emails to be able to log into the metaverse via Quest; basically, professionals of all industries will be using the metaverse as companies look to bridge the gap between remote and at-the-office work.
Lastly, we have the most popular use case of the Metaverse and its perhaps biggest market, video games played by an expansive user base playing games by developers such as Epic Games that create an immersive experience that we could only imagine. An old citizen playing 3D virtual chess on the streets of New York with his friend who is halfway across the world in Beijing with their digital avatar; playing random strangers for a game of ping pong, players of all ages and sizes will be able to play with their friends and family no matter where they are. Popular games already exist within the metaverse; with live service games such as Echo VR, Beat Saber, and Pistol Whip; Beat Saber is perhaps the most successful game with surpassing over $100 Million in all-time revenue.
Just like the internet, as we found out... almost everyone will be using this given time; students learning in new ways, professionals having meetings in new spaces, or even fitness athletes or gamers in general. The Metaverse will be a world for everyone.
Metaverse: A World of Advertising
As we have learned, the Metaverse is a world for everyone that eventually just like the internet, everyone will use. Businesses today and tomorrow will have to come up with innovative and creative ways of doing different game advertising, virtual and digital billboards in video games, and different ways of metaverse marketing. Although the number of active users overall in the metaverse is not as big today as it will be tomorrow, that doesn't mean that the future possibilities of advertising aren't already taking place today.
NFTs, otherwise known as non-fungible tokens, is just one example where companies are already starting to look forward with actions taken today. Taco's, food that we consume... could you imagine that being sold in the metaverse? Taco Bell said yes to that question with the announcement and subsequent sale of 'Spicy Potato Soft Tacos' according to a March 2021 tweet, these exclusive 25 tacos sold out in less than 30 minutes. Dynamic Advertising will most likely be taking an evolutionary step forward, where these ads once took place only on your computer or TV; transitioning to VR and AR that take the form of virtual spaces, objects and so much more. Launch parties of new clothing lines or a new toy that customers can take with them wherever they go within spaces of Horizon Home.
Advertising in the metaverse will be all about being a metaverse company, what this means is creating a presence, a world filled with environments, and making them feel like they're entering your home. Rather than reading the comments in the comment section, having a conversation with those fans, and inviting them for a personal discussion.
Creators and advertisers are still looking at ways of creating the ideal ways of advertising and marketing on and in the metaverse; there is a long way to go. The Presence Platform allows creators and advertisers to create mixed-reality services on Quest; interactions with hands and use of voice are also possible with future innovations still in the works. To ensure that every creator who uses the Presence Platform is going to be safe for the general public, the Presence Platform follows the Responsible Innovation Principles which covers the requirements of safely collecting users' information on these virtual technologies. Oculus SDK is another technological advancement that will help creators everywhere; Insight SDK allows the creation of experiences that create a realistic sense of presence for example where real life and virtual reality combine such as playing the piano.
Other technologies exist for creators and businesses in the Oculus SDK realm such as Interaction SDK, Tracked Keyboard SDK and Voice SDK Experimental, each of these comes with features that can expand your business and advertising potential that will allow you to create different activities for attendees.
Just like the metaverse, advertising in there is still young and growing with a world of possibilities, who knows what the best form will be. With the right innovations, brains, and technology... immersive ads that create digital will soar. "Within the next decade, the metaverse will reach a billion people, host hundreds of billions of dollars of digital commerce, and support jobs for millions of creators and developers..." (Zuckerberg, 2021).
The true metaverse will be an interactive universe where you're in your backyard one second and exploring the deep worlds of Jupiter the next. Creating digital avatars to show off with your friends and going for your next job interview for a Metaverse company, the world is entering the next stage of technology, marketing, and advertising. Meta's main goal for the Metaverse is to allow for a sense of presence, of being there; how businesses and advertisers market out to potential customers will be something to be seen. The metaverse is still too young of a technology to understand, with too much still unknown... but for now, we can't help but be excited for the future and what comes next.