“Meta? What does it mean? What’s the metaverse? What does it mean for my business?” you may be frantically asking yourself. And more importantly: is the buzz around this name change a Fad or the future?
It’s the future, and the name isn’t the only thing that’s changing.
What Is Meta?
On top of Facebook, the company now owns Messenger, Whatsapp, Instagram and renowned virtual reality company, Oculus. This means that they own virtual and augmented reality technology.
Zuckerberg and his team recently released a video on the name change below:
What Is Augmented Reality?
The designs will appear differently based on angles and distance, as if they were physically there. If you’ve ever used snapchat filters, you’ve used augmented reality. Some street artists are already applying AR to their murals which you can see in the video linked below.
What Is Virtual Reality?
Just like AR, the objects around you will appear differently based on angles and distance, as if they were physically there. However, instead of overlapping 3D designs onto reality, this is completely virtual. It gives you a real feeling of presence.
Today’s technology allows you to turn your head for a dynamic, 360 view of the simulation using a VR headset.
What Is the Metaverse?
- Avatar design
- Home design
- Fitness programs
- Meetings and chat rooms
The metaverse will have all of the world’s companies in one virtual place.
But what’s so valuable about it? What will a user be able to do in the metaverse?
The company’s goal is “to bring the metaverse to life and help people connect, find communities and grow businesses.”
What Will Business Be Able to Do in the Metaverse?
Shopping: What’s in Store?
Even if you do have physical stores, it’s good to look into building a presence in the metaverse because it may soon become the preferred method of shopping (just like the internet).
An independent creator even designed an AR replica of a Louis Vuitton store that can be viewed using an Instagram filter. This shows the potential of the virtual market.
Here is the original store in New York City:
Users will be able to try out products like clothing or accessories and purchase them for their avatar or have them shipped home to use in real life!
You’ll also be able to add captivating creative elements to your store that are only conceivable in the virtual world.
If there’s one thing your business should focus on in the metaverse, it’s shopping. It will be the most impactful component for businesses, allowing them to sell their products in two different worlds.
Already, companies like Project Archer exist as VR design agencies in the retail industry.
You may want to partner with games in the metaverse to either advertise or sell products that can be used in the game such as:
- Skins (clothing and accessories)
- Weapons and tools
- Transportation (cars, bikes, boats, etc.)
- Consumables and meds (food and beverages like energy drinks can be featured in games, as they’re often used to boost avatar health)
Gaming companies like Epic Games, Minecraft and Nintendo are currently buying land in the metaverse, and there is opportunity for collaboration. Realistically, this may be difficult if your business is small, but it’s something to keep in mind. We all start from somewhere!
Roblox and Fortnight players can pay using V-bucks, the game’s currency which maintains an actual dollar value. The Metaverse will most likely have a similar virtual economy using cryptocurrencies.
Just think of the possible forms of entertainment that could be brought to VR:
- Night clubs
- Escape rooms
- Sports (golf, bowling, Axe throwing, rock climbing…)
- Premiering movie theatres
- Streaming services (movies and shows)
And a lot more!
“Our efforts to date are merely a prologue to a time when we’ll be able to connect the physical and digital worlds even more closely, allowing for storytelling without boundaries in our own Disney metaverse”
If you aren’t in the entertainment industry, you could still benefit from the traffic it brings in. Meta will most likely have a way of running ads that will be personalized to the interest of the user, just like Facebook.
It might also be similar to the kind of advertisement we see in everyday life. Users may come across
- Commercials: Ads before the movie stars in the virtual theatre
- Sponsorships: A word from Justin Beiber about the night’s sponsor before his virtual concert
- Product placement: Sponsored use of products or services in the media.
Whether you’re part of the entertainment industry or sponsoring it, this is already an area that is taking off in the metaverse.
He’s referring to Horizon Home, a software in the metaverse that allows users to create a 3D homespace.
With the technology available today, IKEA offers a 3D floor plan design for their customers. The Metaverse provides businesses in this industry a whole new world where they can help avatars build the home of their dreams.
Work in the Metaverse
The metaverse steps that up with virtual reality meetings. Rather than a 2-dimensional Zoom room, you can be face to face with your teammates, inside your VR headset, similar to VR chat rooms. As the technology evolves, places like Horizon Workrooms (probably many more will emerge) will offer a whole new world of VR to explore.
If office space becomes too costly for your business, this may be a good option to look into.
How Will Marketing Work in the Metaverse?
Think : “Who is the customer here?”
When it comes to social media, the content is free for users, since businesses can run ads. That’s how the platform can be free – because the traffic the platform brings costs money for advertisers. The way in which businesses will advertise in the metaverse will depend entirely on the style of user experience.
Since companies are able to purchase land, their means of getting revenue may be up to them. They could do one or a combination of the things in this list:
- Charge their visitors upon entry, like a club.
- Offer a premium membership option.
- Make money by selling products and/or services on the land they own, like a store.
- Make their land free, but get revenue from advertisers.
But how will businesses run ads in this virtual world?
You can already find this type of advertisement in games like FIFA Mobile.
People buy from people they adore and trust, and influencers build a much stronger bond with their audience than with other forms of media. You can also find the right ambassador for your brand; an influencer who cares about the product or service and will therefore attract an audience that does too.
So what will they do in the metaverse?
- Meet and greets
- Live shows
- “Let’s plays” from gamers in a live setting
How can you advertise your business with influencers? The same way we do now. Try one or a combination of these techniques:
- Brand deals (free products for the influencer)
- Paid brand endorsements
- Promo codes
- Sponsored live events
For example, Nike and Adidas already supply sports teams with free gear that millions of fans will see and want to buy. The same is possible virtually.
What Is the Future of Business In The Metaverse?
People will be spending money in the metaverse, most likely in the form of cryptocurrency. As people’s work, home, social life, hobbies, and errands will start to take place in the virtual world, objects in that world may become more valuable than those in real life.
Headsets will be more affordable and the technology will become more advanced. This means that access to the metaverse will soon become mainstream, but it may take a while. Zuckerburg himself estimated that the tech won’t become mainstream for another 5-10 years. When it does, will your business be ready?
The metaverse will only get more competitive as time goes by, so don’t let it pass you by. As soon as you can, look into what you can do with your business.
So what’s the future of the metaverse? The metaverse is the future.