Ever since Facebook rebranded to Meta in October 2021, talk of the metaverse and the potential for it to revolutionise our lives has been everywhere. With Mark Zuckerberg and his company betting big that the metaverse is the next evolution of the internet, as well as other Microsoft, gaming giants Epic, and Nvidia also throwing their hats into the ring, companies are now starting to pay attention.
In their quarterly publication, McKinsey & Company have published a deep dive into the metaverse and how it stands to revolutionise the marketing and branding space for real estate. Whether the metaverse is a flash in the pan or as big as the e-commerce revolution of the early 2000s remains to be seen. Either way, McKinsey suggests companies should be prepared to embrace change. You can read the report in full here:https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/growth-marketing-and-sales/our-insights/marketing-in-the-metaverse-an-opportunity-for-innovation-and-experimentation
Over the course of 2021, Meta poured $10 billion into developing the technology and software necessary to make the metaverse a reality. Other metaverse companies have been busy too, with another $10 billion in total raised by companies like Epic Games, the company behind gaming behemoth Fortnite, who raised $3 billion in funding alone, partnering with LEGO.
Despite the technology and concepts involved being highly nascent, the amount of capital pouring into the metaverse industry is significant. The value proposition is estimated to be in the trillions.
Defining the metaverse
Pinning down what the metaverse is, however, is a little more tricky. Just like the internet is a nebulous concept, the metaverse is equally difficult to pin down. Nevertheless, there are some elements that all parties agree are intrinsic to the metaverse:
● Immersive environments: Using new or existing game engines such as Unreal, combined with screens and virtual or augmented reality hardware, the metaverse is conceived as a shared virtual environment.
● Persistent: The metaverse happens in real time and is always on.
● Cross-medium: The metaverse will be accessible via multiple platforms and will seamlessly connect many virtual and physical spaces through technology.
● Virtual economy: Whether using fiat money, cryptocurrency, or digital assets such as NFTs, the metaverse will have a thriving, real economy.
● Virtual identities: Your presence in the metaverse will be represented by digital assets such as 3D avatars and your virtual possessions, often utilizing user-generated content.
We can best envision the metaverse by comparing it to the internet of today, with a twist. While we can switch off our phones or computer, the internet remains active and persistent. We can “log on” to the internet and make our presence known through chat apps, social media, forums, shopping, and using websites. With the metaverse, we can expect much the same connectivity but with immersive, virtual environments that will run parallel to our physical world.