The metaverse is not a new concept, but if it takes off because of ‘Meta’, it can have significant effects on digital marketing campaigns.
The metaverse, which was heralded by Facebook Inc. now ‘Meta’, as the focus of their future efforts, is not exactly a new concept. The metaverse can be summed up like cyberspace or the World Wide Web, an all-encompassing digital space, but with elements of virtual reality, like VR goggles, or augmented reality, like smartphones or smartwatches.
It also includes a digital economy, with virtual currencies, products, and services, that can be bought and consumed from within the application or game. These elements already exist in smartphone app stores, multiplayer videogames, learning platforms, coworking software, etc., but are not fully integrated to each other yet.
For marketers, familiarity with the metaverse will be essential in the coming years. According to Bloomberg, this sector could be worth $800 billion in global business by 2024.
If we think that the metaverse could be the future of the internet as we know it now, it is obvious that it will have a huge impact on digital media and commerce. In fact, the numbers we’re already seeing are spectacular: this year, 27.7 million people attended Travis Scott’s Fortnite clothing and music merchandising launch of Fortnite.
As was once the case with the internet, the level of disruption that the metaverse will cause is hard to imagine, but there is no doubt that it involves a new way of thinking and doing things across the board, and marketers should be at the forefront of this change. Some of the elements of “traditional” digital advertising may carry over into the metaverse, but there will also be entirely new dynamics in which generating user experiences will be key.
According to Tim Sweeney, the founder of Epic Games, games will play a key role within the metaverse. As he said in a February 2020 talk, “The Star Wars and Marvel crossovers in Fortnite brought an amazing new entertainment experience to customers for free and raised awareness of everyone’s products. They weren’t commercials, they were much more engaging and exciting than commercials. I think the future of the gaming industry will see a lot more of that and a lot less of the traditional display advertising where you take someone’s time away from what they’re doing and annoy them by putting some unwanted content in front of them and expecting them to take an action. I think we’re getting closer to the point where every company will have a live 3D presence in real time, through partnerships with gaming companies.”
To sum up, the metaverse is not yet a thing, but its elements are coming together. And to take advantage of them, it’s advisable to start familiarizing yourself with it’s current ‘parts’, like online videogames and existing digital commerce platforms, to start planning strategies for this new medium.