#Metaverse, What is it exactly?
It is hard to believe that just a few years ago email and websites like “myspace” were the cutting edge of technological connectivity. Today in the age of social media, everything we do in real life is posted online. At times, it feels like not posting about an event means it didn’t even happen. But we all know social media is much more than posting about your life. It has become one of the most significant business tools for connecting to the public. What will the online world look like in 15 years from now when the technology of today feels as antiquated as AOL chat rooms? Lately, the response to that has been the Metaverse.
What is the Metaverse exactly? Broadly speaking, it is the concept of having both our online and real lives intertwined. This builds on concepts that we are already familiar with. For example, in video games, users are often able to choose a character they want to play, have the ability to change the character’s appearance, and control the actions of that avatar, at least in the game. However, the Metaverse takes this idea just a little further. Your player in the Metaverse would be an extension of yourself. You would be able to pay real money to shop for things like clothing and other items for your online existence, attend virtual concerts by real artists, and interact with people in many other ways as we would in real life via the Metaverse. New technology like virtual reality headsets are also coming out which are a significant component of making an immersive second life.
Companies and influential people are hot on this new trend, implementing ways to reach their audiences that are both innovative and Metaverse compatible. CNBC reported that the retail giant Walmart is planning to sell virtual versions of their products, which can be purchased for online personas through cryptocurrency. This extends the Walmart brand into a new reality and allows consumers to connect with them and shop for products in a way never done before.
Many brands are realizing how they can extend their names into the Metaverse. The fashion house Balenciaga, for example, collaborated with The Simpsons to create an episode where the citizens of Springfield modeled clothes from a real collection. This is an amazing example of how a company was able to connect with their customers, and a fun way to publicize the brand beyond luxury fashion clients. There are many other ways online platforms can be used to reach audiences in ways never thought possible.
A new phenomenon because the gradual shift to the Metaverse has been the rise of virtual concerts. No, this isn’t watching a live stream of a concert going on somewhere else in the world, it’s a concert that is held entirely online. The DJ Marshmello hosted a concert on the popular gaming platform Fortnite. There was no physical venue or security checking guests at the door. Marshmello created an avatar of himself on Fortnite and streamed the experience through the platform. By hosting the concert online, Marshmello was able to bring his experience and his brand to a huge audience. It was reported that 10.7 million people logged on to Fortnite for the concert.
The Metaverse has created a new digital frontier which has endless possibilities. By creating an immersive experience that is quite literally a second life, public entities can connect with the public in ways never thought possible. Consumers can discover new brands and create a quick, strong connection by bringing the label into their virtual homes. The Metaverse gives creators access to the largest audience possible. Messaging and real experiences can now reach audiences that would have been inaccessible before in a way which would not be possible in the real world. The capacity for audience engagement and communication are endless in the Metaverse.