When you hear Metaverse, the first thing that pops into your mind is fantasy or a world out of this universe. And you won’t be wrong. Metaverse is a phrase coined by the sci-fi writer “Neal Stephenson” in his novel Snow Crash. It means an imaginary place “made available to the public over the worldwide fiber-optics network.” It has become something real; Mark Zuckerberg has mentioned it over 80 times when introducing Meta. He defined it as an “even more immersive and embodied internet,” where you can get with your friends and family to do almost anything you can imagine. It is his goal to develop the metaverse. People are already investing in metaverses.
Meanwhile, Web 3.0 is the new future of the internet. It is a decentralized web containing the last generation of internet applications and services powered by distributed ledger technology, such as Blockchain. Its mission is to decentralize data rather than centralize them, where computers are as humanly intelligent as possible to analyze and interpret the information.
The Evolution of Web
What led to the idea of Web 3.0?
In 1999, the Semantic Web was introduced by Tim Berners-Lee, which was an innovative and evolved version of the existing internet at that time, where machines could process information and data in a human-like way. After 30 years of the emergence of the World Wide Web, Web 3.0 comes out as a leap forward into the open network, as Tim has once envisioned. He saw a universal space where no one controlled anything, and anyone could access it at any time. Web 3.0 comes as a return to this idea of Lee.
Web 3.0 was coined in 2006 and built on edge computing, decentralized data networks, blockchain, and artificial intelligence. Even though we are not to witness the complete transformation to Web 3.0, we still see some of it, where the power comes back to us.
What might Web 3.0 look like?
In Web 3.0, users may be able to combine different services for themselves, customizing their web.
Web 3.0 won’t depend on centralized servers and databases like Google, Amazon, and Microsoft. Instead, it will rely on decentralized data storage systems.
The internet search will happen through the use of advanced AI. The search engine will be customizable, offering different results for each user, depending on his personality, preferences, and needs. This means the algorithm will know more about us.
As a user of Web 3.0, you will have access to all your assets and control them without the need or permission of any provider. In addition, you will be able to access the internet for free.
You can experience Web 3.0 on 3D platforms instead of 2D ones. Moreover, you can access the Metaverse and enjoy real-life playing!
Web 3.0 Key Features:
Ubiquity: It means to be everywhere and anywhere at the same time. Web 2.0 is already ubiquitous, like when an FB user captures a photo and shares it, it instantly becomes available for everyone on the internet. However, Web 3.0 takes it a step further by simply not needing a smartphone for that.
Semantic Web: Semantics is the study of words; hence, the semantic web would help machines understand meaning and emotions through analyzing data. This will provide a better experience for users.
Artificial Intelligence: AI system in Web 2.0 is still under construction. For instance, Google’s AI system removed around 10,000 negative reviews of the Robinhood app when it knew it was manipulation. It is still in progress, but it will provide users with the best-filtered data as it advances.
3D Graphics: 3D graphics will bring a new life to futuristic gaming apps and sectors like real-estate, health, and e-commerce.
The Metaspace Race
Seeing the emergence of the Metaverse and the new era of Web 3.0, everyone is racing to claim the Metaverse as his own. Mark Zuckerburg has gladly announced changing his company’s name to Meta on October 28th, focusing on Metaverse. It was his goal from all along for his company to become a Metaverse company. Similarly, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced in August 2021 that they are building a “Metaverse enterprise.”
The race is actual and as big as it can get. Fortnite and Roblox are already making huge money in this domain. They are entire virtual reality worlds where people can play with their avatars. This massive explosion in VR and metaverses is comparable to the outbreak of the dot com that happened in the late 1990s and is expected to exceed it. Metaverses are going to take over the internet. Fortnite and Roblox could sustain growth equal to Facebook and Google as they recently raised around $1 billion. Even companies that are indirectly related to the development of the metaverse are proliferating.
Face it; Technology is our future.
Mapping the Metaverse
Metaspaces: Evolving in the Meta-era
Your typical gaming platforms are not typical anymore. Instead, they are morphing into social spaces and galas. Many of the gamers are already open to this change. For example, 62% say that attending a digital concert sounds amazing, and 63% say that attending a digital show sounds appealing.
Over the past years, there have been some examples. According to Epic Games, Travis Scott’s concert in Fortnite had broken everything back in 2020, attracting over 12 million viewers. Additionally, Lil Nas X held a concert in Roblox, attracting 33 million viewers!
It doesn’t stop there. Social events are moving beyond the existing gaming locations! For example, virtual hosts are being brought to virtual gatherings. So you could attend by your avatar as if you were there in person. Similarly, Deezen opened its virtual social club, where attendees can maneuver through the bar as if it was real.
Alongside entirely virtual venues came Surreal, a platform that combines virtual experience and physical spaces. The brand partnered with DNABlock to create realistic avatars for events configured into anything real or imagined. It is found in New York City, its art breaking through the enormous screens. For example, there is a piece called The Looking Glass, an AR exhibition of virtual sculptures. The work is an extension of reality, as told by the words of Artist Olafur Eliasson. The future is the Metaverse. It is going to become an essential part of our physical life.
Travelportation: Your physical experience without experiencing it
In Microsoft Flight Simulator’s last update, people were able to see the whole world. It was first used as an educational tool for pilots and now is being used for tourism. Technology is making is it easier for a faraway destination to be reached. For example, the Swedish travel company Lights Over Lapland introduced virtual tours, and South Africa offered safari live streams and zoom sessions.
The idea of time travel is discussed through virtual traveling. There is an idea where the virtual-travel professional asks the user not where he wants to travel but when he wants to travel. In addition, “Microdosing” travel could be beneficial to an employee, where he can disconnect from his office for some time and immerse his senses into another virtual universe.
A case study: How three companies are stepping into the Metaverse
Sub-companies: Instagram, WhatsApp, Workplace, Novi, Portal, Messenger Plans for the Metaverse: Zuckerburg announced that Facebook would become a Metaverse company at the end of July 2021; he believes it is the successor to the mobile internet, making it his new goal. Company’s transition: From social media to Metaverse. Our analysis: Social media will not disappear from the view. It will stay dominant and will always have and play a significant role. Moreover, it will have a big connection with the Metaverse.
Sub-companies: Fortnite, Unreal Engine. Plans for the Metaverse: Epic Games raised $1 Billion in funding towards its vision of Metaverse in 2021. It wants to advance the art in technology, and it has already started its mission by hosting different events. Company’s transition: From gaming to Metagaming. Our analysis: Epic Games is going to revolutionize the gaming world in Metaverse. It has already set its foot in the way of better experience and interactions.
Sub-companies: Sumo Group, Weixin, WeChat, Riot Games, Supercell Plans for the Metaverse: The company’s ownership of WeChat gives it direct management of digital transactions in the Metaverse. This gives it a substantial economic advantage in the Metaverse. Company’s transition: From messaging and payment to Metaverse. Our analysis: The brand will play an essential role in the metacommerce development.
The Metaverse workforce: The work of future
Remote work has let companies prioritize virtual environments. According to a survey, 61% of the respondents believe that their livelihood depends on technology. The pandemic has shown that jobs can be done remotely and depending on the technology only. New technologies are rolling out for this purpose. For example, Facebook is betting hard on VR. In 2030, users will teleport from one place to another without moving an inch, not for gaming but work.
The desire for defying location seems to be the priority of many companies today. Microsoft, Verizon, and other businesses announced hybrid setups, while companies like Spotify and Twitter continue with the fully remote option. Tech companies are already preparing for digital workspaces and workforce, like WeTransfer, which announced that it had become a virtual company.
Gen Z is so hard to get, and they can’t be reached through the television, radio, or magazines. The traditional ways of marketing for the youngsters are gone forever. They can only be found in gaming, and that is where marketing should be. In-game marketing is expected to grow by $10 billion in 2024. It is not rocket science, and it is happening as we go. Cryptocurrency has been introduced into the metaverse. Metaverse ETF is an exchange-traded fund (ETF) that is similar to the stock market. It has a median market capitalization of $74 billion, and it is an index being sold to public companies through the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). This market could be worth over $1 trillion, which means that the metaverse will become more essential than the internet in no time.
What to learn from Metaverse?
It is time for the brands to become a part of the Metaverse because people spend more than half of their time online. They are working, discovering, shopping, and doing more.
Brands need to learn how to ethically engage with the users virtually because people reflect what is important to them in real life in virtual reality too.
Brands need to know that the consequences of the Metaverse are real and dire in life
Companies should focus on how they and the customers exist inside the Metaverse.