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The question “What is the metaverse” has been around since 1992. In his book Snow Crash, author Neal Stephenson referred to it as a digital world that exists parallel to ours. No doubt this creation was built in a time of great reimagination, but the world had no real technology to support its development.
So we need to ask ourselves, “What is the Metaverse in our modern understanding?” The newest conception of the Metaverse is a 3D version of the internet and computing. While our version of the internet is mainly text-based – emails, messages, usernames, and websites – this is a new dimension.
The most agreed-upon vision is a singular place where people can live and navigate the internet faster and more naturally.
How does the Metaverse work
If you want to know the answer to what is the Metaverse, you need to know how it works. Metaverse creates a digital reality with a combination of virtual reality and augmented reality technologies. The Metaverse would blend modern forms of computing and internet navigation with existing ideas in games.
A main component in the Metaverse would be the creation of an avatar. This avatar would be “life-size”, allowing individuals to reimagine who they were and what they looked like. This opens the bounds of fashion, jewelry, and personal expression in general. The upside to metaverse fashion is that no user would be forced to pay exorbitant prices in order to wear fashionable clothes, although they would have to get used to a new idea of “wearing”.
Next, the Metaverse would be set in a sandbox where people could interact through avatars. Land acquisition in the Sandbox Metaverse already uses SAND tokens, which are an in-game currency that allows for purchasing land and other user-generated content. Assets that could probably be sold on an online marketplace.
NFTs and the Metaverse
The big question is now how to manage property within the Metaverse. In current video games there exists a huge market for skins, different weapons, or expansion packs. The Metaverse would no doubt be the same.
Because NFT technology allows for the prevention of duplication, we can imagine that the Metaverse would employ this blockchain technology to give users a sense of personalization for in-game clothing, property, or other nifty objects.
If you want to learn more about NFTs and how they’re changing the gaming world, too, check out this blog.
What is the Metaverse missing
While the metaverse has platforms and programs here today, it still lacks a lot of the technology that will define it in the future. This poses some unique challenges:
- Reducing the heft and price of Mixed Reality and Virtual Reality Goggles
- Confirming identity and making sure it is free of human-like bots
- The need for a secure and quick transaction cryptocurrency
- A central meeting ground for most people
Accessing the Metaverse today
As of now, the Metaverse has some incomplete technology that hampers the experience. However, many say that the Metaverse adoption is around the corner. Melanie Subin, a director at The Future Today Institute, predicts that by 2030, “a large proportion of people will be in the metaverse in some way.”
But you don’t have to wait that long, we have metaverses online today. However, accessing the metaverse might be difficult if you’re not used to it.
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You have to invest in a VR Helmet, but for many, this is an unfamiliar purchase. At the core of it, these devices are head-mounted digital displays that allow the user to be immersed in a 3D environment. They have motion trackers that sense which direction a user is looking and track it in real-time.
Top VR Helmets:
- Oculus Quest 2: $299
- Sony Playstation VR: $479
- HP Reverb G2: $569
- Valve Index: $999
This platform is one of the best platforms out there that demonstrates the future relationship between Cryptocurrency and the Metaverse. In this game, a player becomes an apprentice to a deity to create their own universe by exploiting in-game resources like water, soil, lightning, lava, and sand.
This Metaverse platform allows for the purchase, selling, and trading of land using blockchain technology. Sandbox made news when Snoop Dogg, Richie Hawtin, Deadmau5, and The Smurfs bought land in this digital world. This platform is a perfect place for brands to make fame, especially as the space now boasts 2M users.
Decentraland is another blockchain-based metaverse that can be used to play games, meet other people, and even host online meetings for companies. This platform works like SANDBOX in that people buy plots of land using MANA, the game-specific cryptocurrency. This platform even hosts its own city called Genesis City.
They previously hosted a virtual fashion week with top brands
- Dolce & Gabbana
- Tommy Hilfiger
- Elie Saab
- Nicholas Kirkwood
- Perry Ellis
- Imitation of Christ
- Estee Lauder
Other popular brands on Decentraland include:
- Miller Lite
As of now, Decentraland hosts around 800,000 users and has expanded its user base by 3,300% between December 2020 and December 2021 alone.
In this object-oriented game, players get to create new worlds and games for each other. Along with that, this system boasts an in-game currency that allows for purchasing clothes and other items. In their premium membership, Roblox allows players to sell their clothes to other users.
Since its creation in 2003, Roblox now boasts 47 million daily users and 9.5 million developers. This platform is made up of user-created worlds and has since invested in AR and VR technology to make this world even more immersive. This platform is well placed to dominate the Metaverse as half of American children already play the game.
Like Decentraland, Roblox has hosted events like Easter egg hunts and even virtual concerts. Artists that have performed on Roblox include:
- Lil Nas X
- Zara Larsson
- Twenty-One Pilots
Marketing in the Metaverse
Marketing in the metaverse is quite different from marketing on the Internet. Instead of ads, billboards, or influencers, Metaverse marketing requires understanding the people and platform to incorporate the in-game assets, property, and immersive experience to tailor fit a campaign.
- Gucci Gardens was a campaign done on Roblox, where Gucci allowed the limited sale of their clothes for Roblox characters in an online room. Gucci collected 286 million Robux from this campaign
- Dimension studio made $6.5 million by experimenting with Metaverse fashion. The user would be scanned by 106 cameras and allowed to try on different garments and clothes.
- Nike is poised to team up with Roblox to create Nikeland. This virtual world includes buildings, fields, arenas, and sports venues for players to compete in sporting mini-games.
- Coca-Cola announced a series of Ethereum-based NFT loot boxes decorated with a metallic bubble jacket.
Check out these top crypto marketing campaigns to help inform your next brand deal.
What I would recommend for marketing agencies and departments is to get your first company VR goggles and explore these new metaverse platforms. Interact with the people and understand what they prize and like.
Next, I would introduce campaigns that use the NFT blockchain technology to create an in-game product or experience that will be popular with the community. Since this is a new technology, the time to invest and learn the trade of Metaverse marketing is now. Learn to build on past campaigns and reimagine marketing on a digital level.