If you spend even an hour on social media daily, I am sure you might have heard the terms like “Metaverse,” “Meta,” & “Virtual Reality.” You might also have heard about multiple CEOs like Satya Nadela, Mark Zuckerberg & many more on this topic.
So seriously, What is Metaverse facebook actually? Why it’s making so much fuss? Why some influencers, business owners & CEOs are going crazy over it? What are Metaverse examples?
Is it a game like Fortnite? Is it a virtual world like we have seen in multiple Hollywood sci-fi movies? Or is it just a farse?
You have landed on the just-right page if you have similar questions. In this detailed guide to Metaverse, I’ll cover all of the above questions & much more. I will discuss how Metaverse will change the world as we see it today, how it will impact your lifestyle & your Business.
So without wasting much time, let’s get going!
Table of Contents
What is the Metaverse?
When we talk about Metaverse today, it’s like talking about the Internet in the late ’80s. Everybody knew something was brewing, but no one had any idea what exactly the Internet was. The same is the case with Metaverse.
But suppose I wanted to explain Metaverse in a few simple words. In that case, I’ll say, “It’s a Digital or Virtual World, where you can create your virtual identity where you can interact with similar Digital Avatars of the real-life people, objects & even places.”
Metaverse can be defined as an immersive Internet Experience offered by futuristic or at the least highly advanced technology that augments Reality.
In short, Metaverse is not a specific type of technology or tool. Rather, it’s a paradigm shift in the way we interact with Technology & the Internet.
Metaverse will consist of virtual Reality in the Digital World, even when you are not interacting with it in real-time. The best example of this is Minecraft. Metaverse will also include Augmented Reality, which will bridge the Physical & Virtual worlds. Google Glass is a good example of it.
But, Metaverse might not need specific AR or VR technology to access the virtual world.
Taking one step further, we can say Metaverse will be a Digital Economy where people can craft, trade, & utilize items online. E.g., you can create your AvatarAvatar, that is cross-compatible on multiple platforms.
This technology already exists right now in multiple games & platforms like Roblox. But the issue with the current technology is the lack of interoperability. Current users cannot utilize their current Avatars or Digital Personas on other platforms.
Metaverse can change this situation. It can allow you to create AvatarAvatar that you can utilize across multiple platforms, ensuring ideal interoperability. It will be just like downloading your Profile picture from one platform & using it on another.
But wait, doesn’t technology as mentioned above exist already? Doesn’t platforms like Minecraft or Fortnite offer similar features? So are these platforms a Metaverse?
The answer is way more than “Yes” & “No.” For example, let’s say would you call every soft drink a “Coke”? Although it’s the most famous & widely consumed product, you cannot say Soft-drink means Coke.
The same is the case with Metaverse. The platforms that I mentioned above form a part of Metaverse, but they are still a subset of Metaverse. But it doesn’t stop here. Big Shots like Facebook, Roblox, Unity & Nvidia are building Metaverse infrastructure. So we can say Metaverse will be a collective behemoth built by fusing all the infrastructures developed by these companies.
Some common terms Related to the Metaverse
Augmented Reality (AR):
Ever played Pokemon Go? If you did, you have already used Augmented Reality in real life.
The same goes with the Google glass too. Augmented Reality (AR) is a technology that offers additional & virtual information projected over the Real World objects.
With the rise of Metaverse, AR is all set to take off.
This is a tad different from Augmented Reality. Unlike AR, VR offers an immersive experience to the users in 100% Digital format. Here, the user can access the Digital world using 360-degree wearable & can move anywhere.
There is no standard definition, but it’s a far-fetched version of Augmented Reality. Here the elements of the Digital World fuse with the elements of the Real World.
One more marketing term, instead of a technical term. Microsoft uses this term to define its services related to Google meet.
Is Metaverse is going to be the future?
Well, this obvious question has no simple answer. No one can predict the future; no one ever will. E.g., before the Pandemic struck, who would have dreamt that we would shift towards the Work From Home concept so quickly?
So, nothing can be said with surety when it comes to the future. But we certainly can make some assumptions for sure.
E.g., after Facebook decided to change its name to Meta, Metaverse became the eye-candy of highly optimist futurists!
But let’s not stretch our imagination. I believe Metaverse will change the way people utilize certain services like Watching Movies, Education, Entertainment, Music Concerts.
These sectors will witness the paradigm shift with the introduction of AR & VR gears. People will interact with the virtual world, people & places they cannot visit in person. People won’t have to travel long distances to experience the global culture.
Edtech will be one of the biggest beneficiaries of the Metaverse. Imagine an education ecosystem where students will be able to interact with tutors from across the globe as if all of them are in one place! Students will understand complex topics easily, with Augmented Reality & Virtua l Reality. This will boost their learning pace & expand their knowledge’s reach. Subjects like Biology, Physics & Chemistry will be a lot easier to understand with advanced & interactive learning models
Another such sector that I feel will see a massive alteration is Entertainment & Movie industry. You won’t have to catch a flight to meet your friend, living 4000 miles away. Metaverse will allow you to experience the same fun right from your home.
Live concerts & performances by artists will also change drastically. Instead of lining up for tickets in the stadiums, jam-packed with people, you will be able to witness life-like performances in your home itself. This will offer a whole new & convenient way of enjoying your favourite performances.
Now the question is, will Metaverse Eliminate the current Jobs?
Not likely at all. To ensure the Metaverse or Virtual world operates flawlessly, the Physical world will have to work efficiently. If you think the Future of Metaverse will look like something from the movie “Matrix,” sorry to disappoint you! But that will not be the case. The routine & traditional jobs will go on as usual.
But as the biggies like Microsoft & Facebook are betting high on Metaverse, it’s safe to say that Metaverse is the future, or at least, Metaverse HAS the Future!
How will Metaverse impact Digital Marketing?
This is one of the most asked questions right now! People, especially Small & Medium Business owners, are trying to understand how Metaverse will impact Digital Marketing. So let’s understand it in a bit more detail.
As Metaverse is the unification of the Internet, Augmented Reality & Virtual Reality offers marketers a unique opportunity. Metaverse will be a shared Virtual world where everyone will have a virtual persona.
This will mark a paradigm shift in how marketing is done right now. Top Brands like Nike, Disney & Snap are preparing infrastructures to create virtual communities, arts, fashion & content. These brands want to leverage the power of Metaverse at the early stages.
Why are Big Brands going crazy over Metaverse?
Apart from being the next big thing for Marketing, there are multiple reasons why Big Brands are going crazy over Metaverse. For instance, Metaverse is a 24×7 active platform that exists in real-time. In addition, it’s a fully-functional universe that will be loaded with user-created content.
So it becomes easy for Brands to create tailored ad experiences. E.g., a Fashion brand can create your virtual AvatarAvatar & help you understand how exactly a particular piece of apparel will look on you, even before it’s manufactured! Imagine the impact of such marketing.
Renowned fashion brand Gucci took one step further. In the March of 2o21, they created a pair of Digital Shoes & sold them.
Today, everyone wants to stand out from the crowd & Metaverse can help them do it.
Moreover, these Brands want to keep Gen-Z & Millennials engaged. And given how tech-savvy these generations are, it perfectly makes sense to invest big in Metaverse.
Up until now, only Gaming Industry was heavily influenced by Metaverse. But in the last couple of years, Non-gaming companies too are taking an interest in Metaverse Marketing.
Imagine a virtual conference in the Metaverse with practically no limit on the attendees. Imagine how much exposure a Brand will get by marketing its product or service in such an environment.
That’s the reason why such Big Brands are going all out with Metaverse.
What Big Shots are involved in creating the Metaverse of their own?
Now, as we have understood why businesses love Metaverse, let’s check out some of the Big Shots of the industry involved in Metaverse.
Facebook or Meta, as now it’s known, is probably the most famous player on the list. In fact, this is the company that popularized the term Metaverse when it changed its name to Meta in 2021. But this didn’t happen overnight.
Facebook has been investing in Virtual Reality for quite some time. For e.g., the deal to purchase Oculus in 2014 was a big part of this game. And given the popularity of Facebook, it’s not an exaggeration to say that Meta will be a leader in the Virtual world.
Facebook (or Meta) wants to create Virtually Reality where the users can create their Digital Persona, connect with friends & colleagues, work in the virtual world, travel in it & spend in it.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg envisages an environment where the users will be able to enjoy an immersive experience by not just looking at it but by feeling it.
Nobody knows exactly how they will do it, but they will do it somehow, that’s for sure.
This is another global corporation that is betting big on Metaverse. They are working on the project even before many of us had heard about it.
E.g., Microsoft has already developed holograms & is using them at various levels. Moreover, they are working on Mixed & Extended Reality, which, in fact, is another fancy name for AR (Augmented Reality). The goal is simple, Microsoft wants to create a better & more flexible working environment that will be virtual.
Taking one step ahead, Microsoft will be launching Mixed-Reality(a fusion of Real & Virtual World) to the Microsoft Teams in 2022. This will include customizable Digital Avatars & Holograms that will make the corporate meetings more immersive.
Microsoft wants to create an explorable 3D virtual world for retail & workplaces.
Probably one of the oldest players on this list, Roblox was founded in 2004. This year, it went public, putting its valuation somewhere around $45 billion. Such a massive public interest shows how popular the platform is.
Roblox is a gaming platform, but a unique one. Here, you can explore thousands of user-created games. The most popular amongst them are role-playing games. Players can assume various roles based on their characters, create & own virtual properties, work here & play whatever role they want.
And given the massive popularity of this platform, many brands are lining up to partner with them. E.g., the global leader in the SkateBoard shoe manufacturing company Vans partnered with Roblox. They have created a virtual skateboard park. The users can put on various Digital skating gears developed by the company & explore them.
Another Brand that is working closely with Roblox is the one I already mentioned above, Gucci. They have created something called a Gucci Garden. It’s a place where you buy virtual apparel & kicks for your Digital Avatar.
In short, Roblox is playing a crucial role in the development of the Metaverse.
I mentioned this amazing virtual universe as it’s my personal favourite! Owned by Microsoft, Minecraft is a world where players can create anything they want, from their character to buildings, vehicles & anything they can dream of.
Minecraft enjoys immense popularity amongst children. Its popularity went through the roof, especially during the Pandemic as children were confined to their homes.
This platform, too, can play a major role in developing a shared virtual space envisaged by leading tech giants.
Will Facebook dominate the Metaverse?
As Facebook (or Meta) made the term “Metaverse” popular, it’s natural that a lot of people will think that Facebook will dominate the Metaverse.
But in my opinion, it’s not practically possible. The reason lies in the inherent nature of Metaverse itself. To understand this, let’s understand the characteristics of an ideal Metaverse.
- Massive size: The Metaverse will have to be one massive place that can accommodate millions of players, almost as many as the global population. Then & then only will it serve to bridge the gap between people more efficiently. The practicality of the Metaverse depends on how mainstream it becomes. And in to do so, it should be big enough to handle the global population.
- Content-rich: People easily get bored with monotonous things, even in real life. So if Metaverse wants to engage the users, it has to offer attractive & varied content to them. This might not be the same as the physical world, but it has to be engaging & varied. An ideal Metaverse should be able to offer something new to the user every time they visit or explore something.
- Entertaining: This is probably one of the most important traits of the Metaverse. People will engage & indulge in Metaverse only if it’s entertaining. Nobody wants to be a part of something boring after a tiring day at the office. So an ideal Metaverse should be entertaining & fun.
Now, do you think a single corporation, no matter how big it is, can fulfil all these requirements of an ideal Metaverse?
It’s practically impossible, at least given the current technology & tools. Many companies will have to come ahead & collaborate to create the Metaverse. Moreover, every So if you think Facebook will dominate the Metaverse, it’s not exactly true.
Will it be a big player? Yes, surely it will, but it cannot manage the whole Metaverse on its own.
The dark side of Metaverse
Metaverse has been enjoying immense popularity in recent times, especially after Facebook’s stunt. This is the reason a large number of companies are jumping the bandwagon & joining the Meta-party!
But there is a dark side to the Metaverse that we cannot afford to ignore. As the companies are focusing more on offering more immersive internet experiences via Metaverse, they are becoming more aware of the users.
This might lead to the most dreaded incidents like “Privacy Breach.” Although companies are spending millions on protecting their user’s data, Privacy Breach is not uncommon. On the contrary, it’s more common in the current era.
Companies have redundant Surveillance systems to protect against such privacy breaches but it’s not enough.
To ensure Metaverse is safe for its users, the Companies involved will need to have more redundant Surveillance & protective measures in place.
One more aspect that has many experts worrying about is the law & order in the Metaverse. As it will be backed by blockchain technology, it will have no central authority to manage the law & order. So as the Digital World grows, global leaders will have to determine the judicial power in a much different way.
Another reason that experts feel needs to be dealt with is the user’s contact with the real world. As the Virtual world is much more immersive & has a different perception of time, it’s possible that users can lose track of time. This will have an adverse effect on the users’ social & physical health in the real world. So it is vital to create a system that keeps the users aware of the Real World.
The final threat posed by the Metaverse is the question about the identity of any individual. Once the Metaverse becomes mainstream, there will be hackers & malicious individuals who will try & steal the identities of the genuine users. With the rise of technology, it’s easy to imitate the voice & create the faces of any individuals easily.
So there must be a system in place to ensure that the user’s virtual identity is being created & utilized by the user.
Technology has one inherent trait; it constantly evolves & punishes those who don’t keep up. That’s why almost every tech giant is somehow focused on becoming part of Metaverse.
So if you have any doubt about Metaverse being a success, remove that thought instantly. Even If Metaverse is not the future of humanity, Metaverse does have a future.
So for Businesses, very important to keep track of the evolution of the Metaverse as it will define the future of the Metaverse.
Does Facebook own Metaverse?
No, Metaverse is a space, something like the Internet. No one can own it. Surely facebook can play its part in it, but it doesn’t own it.
Will Metaverse destroy the current jobs?
NO! Nothing can be far from the truth than this! But, unfortunately, it will exist in parallel with the real world so that the existing jobs will stay