Tencent technology news “metaverse” was coined by American writer Neal Stephenson in his 1993 science fiction “snow crash”, but this unreachable virtual world nearly 30 years ago is now close to becoming a reality. At Facebook’s recent earnings conference call, its CEO Mark Zuckerberg (Mark Zuckerberg) announced the company’s vision to connect communities, creators and businesses through metauniverse. “The primary goal of all our initiatives is to help activate metauniverse,” he said
So, what is the metauniverse? The best explanation is that it is a collection of you exploring the 3D world as a virtual avatar. Stephenson’s original idea depicts a digital 3D world in which users interact in a shared online environment. The background of his novel is set after a catastrophic global economic collapse, in which the metauniverse appears as the successor of the Internet. Each Subcultures are emerging with new technologies, and users express their state through their digital avatars.
Today, similar independent virtual worlds emerge one after another and have generated considerable revenue. Well-known brands such as roblox and fortress night have become the most mature space of the metauniverse. However, there are more emerging metauniverses taking shape, such as decenteraland, upland, sandbox and the upcoming Victoria VR.
With the outbreak of novel coronavirus pneumonia, climate change and economic uncertainty enveloping our daily life, reality itself gives us a sense of anti Utopia, and people’s interest in the yuan universe is approaching the peak. Especially the epidemic has left many of us escaping from reality and entering the night of Roblox and bastion. But these spaces have proved to be places where human creativity flourishes in the crisis.
In fact, we are currently experiencing an explosive growth of platforms parallel to the Internet boom. Although many emerging digital worlds will behave like Ask Jeeves on Google, some people predict that the scale and coverage of some digital worlds will be the same as Gu Ge, or even more than it.
As the metauniverse has brought new dimensions to the Internet, brands and enterprises will need to consider their current and future roles in it. Some brands have opened up the way in this process and established a new marketing type: direct to virtual goods. Gucci sold a virtual handbag in roblox at a price higher than the real one; Nike “Fortress night” launched virtual jordan shoes; Coca Cola launched virtual wearable devices in “decentraland”; Sotheby’s launched virtual art galleries so that people’s virtual avatars can walk in their spare time.
The emergence of blockchain technology and digital ownership through NFT (irreplaceable token) is enhancing the virtual commodity economy. NFT has caused waves in the field of art and games, and the blockchain game axie infinity In the first 30 days of this year, the transaction volume exceeded US $191 million. This growth makes it difficult for brands to ignore NFT. In this process, blockchain and cryptocurrency began to feel less and less like “outsider technology”.
However, there are still many obstacles to overcome, such as the user experience of cryptocurrency and the environmental impact of cryptocurrency mining. However, we believe that technology will eventually find a way, and history has often proved it.
Critics would like to see the world as a popular fashion and wrap it up with the current NFT bubble or reduce it to Zuckerberg’s anti dystopia business map, which ignores the “Alfa generation” (early 2010 to mid 2020s). When you observe how they entertain, you will find that the metauniverse is no longer just a buzzword.
For alpha generation, games are social life. When millennials (born between 1981 and 1996) keep rolling subscriptions, alpha generation and Z generation (born from the middle and late 1990s to around 2010) More and more people walk in virtual space with their friends. Since you can hang out with your partners in virtual reality places, why stare at instagram all night? If you think it’s ridiculous, ask any 13-year-old to see what they think.
Big companies and technology companies are betting on such a future In the latest round of $1 billion financing for game developer Epic Games, Sony invested $200 million in it. Boson protocol, a decentralized cryptocurrency platform, spent $700000 last December to buy a virtual real estate and build a virtual shopping center. Facebook is investing a lot of money in a new workplace VR tool and the prototype metauniverse horizon.
These companies invest heavily because they see the younger generation doing the same thing: 87% of “gen Z” and 83% of “millennials” are playing video games on smartphones, game consoles and computers, and log in to digital space at least every week. In addition, more than 65% of “gen Z” spend money on items in games. In school, V-bucks, the game currency of Fortress night, and robux, the virtual currency of roblox, filled the corridor from beginning to end.
No matter where people go, brands will follow. But whether in the meta universe or in the crowded commercial street, the rules of enterprises seeking to stand out are almost the same. Creativity is the decisive competitive advantage. In the meta universe, creation can bring unlimited possibilities. Because market expectations have not been determined, and the laws of physics do not apply. In short, everything is the same be on the cards.
Therefore, although the first wave of ideas of metauniverse follows a consistent method, that is, introducing real-world products into virtual space, brands should start to consider “virtual first” products and services more creatively.
For example, a brand that produces energy drinks in the real world can become a rocket bag supplier in the metauniverse. Alternatively, automobile manufacturers can provide telecommunication services in the metauniverse. This may seem imaginative, but considering that the next generation of users are likely to find your brand in the meta universe first, how do you want to be perceived and what positive values can be transferred to the real world?
By thinking about “virtual first”, you can find that these virtual spaces are highly experimental, creative and valuable. The products you can design are not subject to physical or marketing conventions. They can be anything and can now be “owned” directly through the blockchain. Interestingly, this provides an opportunity for ailing brands to reshape themselves in the meta universe, such as the cryptocurrency casino built by yadali in decentraland.
Most people believe that the meta universe will continue to exist. This means that brands and marketers now have exciting opportunities to create products that exist in a variety of realities. The winner will understand that the metauniverse is not a replica of our real world, so we should not simply paste our products, experiences and brands into it. Like avalanche, we find ourselves emerging from economic uncertainty and witnessing the dawn of a new digital frontier. But the meta universe is not an anti Utopia, but a place where creativity and curiosity can flourish in an unprecedented way. (reviewed by Tencent technology / Jinlu)