If you have been active online lately, there’s a tendency you have heard the word “metaverse”. You might have been thinking, what’s this buzzword that has become the talk of the town in Silicon Valley and as an extension to the world of tech and the world at large.
In this article, you would learn about metaverse and how Digital Marketing as an industry might be affected in this new world.
What is Metaverse?
Now, let’s talk about the elephant in the room. Although before the conversation about Metaverse got mainstream attention recently and even more when Facebook decided to rebrand and rename their parent company, the word “metaverse” and concept have been in existence.
Metaverse is dated as far back as 1992 when Neal Stephenson famously coined the term “metaverse” in his 1992 novel Snow Crash, where it referred to a 3D virtual world inhabited by avatars of real people. History has it that a lot of other science fiction media includes metaverse-like systems (some of them predating Snow Crash) however, Stephenson’s book remains one of the most common reference points for metaverse enthusiasts, along with Ernest Cline’s 2011 novel Ready Player One.
Metaverse in simple terms is a shared virtual world that people access through the internet.
Have you ever thought of teleporting or being in another location without leaving your house? Thought of hanging out with friends in different countries without leaving your home? This is one of the many luxuries the metaverse affords us. It combines virtual realities, augmented realities (accessible via headsets), mixed realities to bridge the gaps between the physical world and the virtual world.
Last week of October, Mark Zuckerberg the CEO of Facebook officially announced their new parent name called, Meta. Before the founder letter on the day of the announcement, he discussed the metaverse during his quarterly results call in late July.
He described it as, “it’s a virtual environment where you can be present with people in digital spaces”. He also said, “you can kind of think about this as an embodied internet that you’re inside of rather than just looking at. We believe that this is going to be the successor to the mobile internet.” Metaverse is a set of virtual spaces where you can create and explore with other people who aren’t in the same physical space as you.
Although metaverse technology is years away from being fully realised, the prediction is that it will eventually be a place where you can work, play, learn, create, shop, and interact with friends in a virtual, online environment. Presently, exploration has started and big tech companies like Google and Facebook are already investing heavily in what is referred to as the future of the internet. In August, millions of Ariana Grande fans attended a concert in the virtual world hosted within Fortnite. Wake up, the future is near or safe to say, it is here already!
The possible effects of the “future of the internet – Metaverse” on Digital Marketing.
Now that we have an overview of what Metaverse is, let’s talk about its possible effect on how marketing might be done digitally when it is finally in existence.
In my opinion, I think no one can certainly say how metaverse will affect the digital marketing landscape when it is in full gear, however, we can make educative guesses off the data we have presently. So, let’s dive in!
SEO and the metaverse:
At the very core of SEO is quality and relevant information. As we move towards a phase where the gap between the virtual and the real world is minimised, brands are expected to audit their content strategy and see how augmented realities, virtual realities and 3D experience can be infused into their marketing plans. There is also speculation that Google could create a SERP that features a digital street where the searcher could walk the street in the virtual reality and visit a website they want as physical stores. They could then buy items they need without leaving their homes. The possibilities are limitless!
Paid advertising and the metaverse:
Interactive display ads will become more prominent. Of course, we already have interactive ads, however, its adoption should be sky rocketed as people tend to interact with virtual just like the physical world. There are examples of ads in form of games on fortnite where users interact with ads virtually.
Social media and the metaverse:
Already we can see Facebook already positioning itself as a metaverse company. Social media channels might morph from 2D to 3D and brands will be able to interact with their audiences in a “more real” environment. Snapchat as a social network already has AR filters. Social networking and interaction is at the very core of metaverse where people can interact without geographical barrier. I am personally looking further into how this new internet is going to disrupt the social media world. Some experts are of the opinion that social media will look like a Fortnite video game in the not so far future. People will have the luxury to have a 3D avatar in augmented reality to interact with the whole world, such that the avatar is able to walk and interact with social media posts while walking around in the real world.
Let me conclude with the words of Max Pinas, the creative director of Dept:
“If you’re a marketer dazzled by the possibilities a nascent sphere like this offers, you might ask; what do I need to do with my brand in the metaverse? The answer is to start with the basics: Investigate what’s out there, have a hard look at your brand’s DNA and find what suits you best. Don’t forget that the metaverse is still ultimately populated by (real) people who give your brand new ways to grow and stand out. So stay in the loop and don’t wake up one day wondering where everybody went”
Prepare for the future, oh, it is a nice time to say the future is here already. Don’t be caught unaware. See you in the metaverse!
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