In June 2021, Mark Zuckerberg shared an overly ambitious idea with his team. Instead of just a social app that connects people, Facebook is a technology company willing to develop interconnected experiences straight out of a sci-fi movie. Mark announced a new world: metaverse.
Previously the company’s focus was to develop products for communities, creators, commerce, and now virtual reality. In an address to his employees, Mark shared, “What I think is most interesting is how these themes will come together into a bigger idea; our overarching goal across all of these initiatives is to help bring the metaverse to life.”
What is the metaverse?
Metaverse was first coined by Neal Stephenson in his sci-fi novel Snow Crash. It refers to a digital universe where users “live” within a combination of virtual reality, augmented reality, and video.
A clip from Ready Player One movie depicts how the metaverse will feel like:
Previously, New York Times shared how game companies like Fortnite, Roblox, and Animal Crossing have used the metaverse elements in their games to glance at how things will be in the future.
Why Is Facebook Involved?
The grand announcement of Mark made it clear regarding how serious Facebook is about the metaverse. It’s now Facebook’s top priority.
Some analysts consider investing in VR headsets; Oculus was a bold move. But obviously, Mark has some plans that support making Oculus headsets cheaper than their competitors.
Facebook is also working on VR applications for social hangouts designed for the workplace.
Mark ensured in an interview that “Metaverse won’t be developed overnight by a single company.” So, Facebook funded $50m to non-profit groups to build a smarter metaverse.
But surely, it will take another 10-15 years for the true metaverse to takeover.
Why Metaverse Is The Next Computing Platform?
Technologists claim that ultimately the internet will evolve into the metaverse. Within a few years, you won’t need to wait for Amazon to deliver products to your doorstep. In the metaverse, you just have to wear glasses, imagine what you need, and within seconds the thing will be standing right next to you.
Today’s internet is the main entry point to connect with millions of people, communicate, and socialize with others. With the metaverse, it will become impossible to differentiate between reality and fantasy.
But experts believe that extended reality (XR), which is the combination of reality and virtual, will aid in keeping us real. The metaverse is based on the idea that virtual, multi-dimensional, real-time environments that can be accessed and interacted with are destined to become a transformational tool in social and business engagement. For these environments to become practical, extended reality must be widely adopted.
Video games and niche enterprise applications have been the only areas in which XR has been applied to date. With games increasingly becoming platforms for social experiences, the likelihood increases that their qualities – open and creative expression mediums, channels for pop culture, and discoverable, continuous virtual worlds – can and will be used in other contexts.
How Can Companies Benefit From The Metaverse?
Whether you’re a startup or an enterprise planning to beat their rivals, you must transition in the next phase of online ads to the modern-day virtual economy. Companies must research customers in the metaverse.
People can behave and shop in the metaverse in a different way than they would in real life. Here robots will be virtual assistants and a bridge between consumers and businesses.
Surely, there will be ads in the metaverse. Frederic Descamps, CEO, Manticore games, said, “Even in [the film] ‘Ready, Player, One,’ who made the Metaverse there? It will be all about the act of creation.” Brands need to approach this responsibly and ethically and not make our world one giant advert. It’s essential.
CMOs must know what is inside the metaverse. Digital clothing, building your world to the impact that marketing can have on people. In 2019 the GTA V presented clothing options similar to the protesters who wore them in Hong Kong on Los Santos street—covered in black with yellow hats and gas masks. The Chinese players noticed and fought back in the police uniforms.
There will be no individual wandering in the metaverse. (With NPCs, holograms, or other players) they will have friendships and relationships that influence their decisions. Play and interaction styles of brands will need to continue changing. Social media won’t be the only place where customers can interact with brands; they’ll also be able to do so in 3D.
The Road to Metaverse Begins with 5G
The 5G metaverse is all about augmented reality, going out into the world to enhance it. Since Ready Player One relies on fiber and Wi-Fi 6E, you will never have to use 5G if you don’t leave your house.
With 5G, people can use AR/VR headsets for the first time and enter the Metaverse. It is basically packing an entire two-year-old smartphone in Oculus headsets, so they are heavy, and have much worse graphics than PCs or consoles can deliver.
If 5G is good, as opposed to the kind we are working with now, headsets will be capable of rendering their graphics remotely, acting just like displays and collections of sensors. This will greatly reduce the size and power consumption of headsets.
In the end
A new version of the internet is being developed, and the effects on society will be profound. There will be new challenges, but there will also be new opportunities for marketing, communications, and branding professionals. New horizons and frontiers will open up for brands and businesses in this new era of the metaverse. How are you preparing? Are you ready to build an augmented reality app for the future? Our app development experts can help.