Since October 28, 2021 and the name change from Facebook to Meta, the metaverse has been on everyone’s lips. A concept with borders that are still porous, it is one of the elements of the ongoing technological and economic revolution.
What is metaverse?
Metaverse (from English “Metaverse”) is a term that first appeared in the writings of American author Neil Stephenson. in ” virtual samurai, Published in 1992, it describes an online world where individuals dress up as their avatars in order to escape a post-apocalyptic reality. A contraction of “meta” (beyond) and “universe”, portmanteau refers to an immersive world that has the particularity of being virtual, continuous and interactive at the same time.
The metaverse re-emerged in the public eye at the beginning of the 2000s with the video game Second Life. . The 3D program allows players to embody virtual characters in the world they help create. At that time, brands were opening virtual stores there.
Souffles fall and metaverses disappear from the radar for a while before making a resounding return in 2021. Record transactions follow each other, from virtual Nike sneakers that sold for $8,500 to land bought for $450,000 on Sandbox platform, which allows users to create A virtual world using non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
What is the interest of metaverses?
The metaverse’s interest is above all technological and responds to a utopian vision of digitization. By freeing himself from the confines of everyday life, the user can discover virtual worlds, take on the appearance of an avatar, and build another reality. If this model sounds tempting, it should be noted that some access to the metaverse is reserved for the wealthy, which contributes to its reputation as a club of the super rich.
Marketing experts, however, have recognized the importance of this new playing field, the metaverse being a way of responding to a fundamental trend: the explosion in the cost of acquiring new customers for businesses. Thus, this innovative media is an opportunity to evangelize a younger and less family-oriented audience, namely the audience of Generation Z and Alpha, who have grown up with digital technology.
Many jobs will be created by what looks like a new technological paradigm. Jeremy Lamry, HR technology entrepreneur and CEO of Tomorrow Theory, imagines careers like a metaverse real estate agent or an avatar designer.
Who are the main players in Metaverse?
In fact, there is not one, but Metaversat. Ideally, all users would be represented in these metaverses, open worlds under continuous construction. For now, Gafam is a Metaverse pioneer. Thus, Facebook has spent $13 billion building its metaverse and is already selling virtual reality headsets.
Microsoft offers avatars and 3D spaces in its Teams app. Amazon has also set itself up with a “serious game” to guide its customers through its cloud service. Apple, the most conservative, should release a headset that combines virtual and augmented reality by 2023. Google, which has already tried, unsuccessfully, augmented reality with its own Google Glass, remains more cautious. However, Mountain View should introduce a newer version of these connected glasses.
Additionally, video game publishers are investing privately in the metaverse. Roblox, a world under construction where you can create your own games, has 320 million active users. its competitor “fortnite”, The game, published by Epic Games, is the other giant in the sector with 250 million active users.
Among other video game players who built the metaverse, we can also mention French The Sandbox or the virtual world of Decentraland.
What is the difference between Metaverse, Web3 and Blockchain?
Metaverses are virtual media while Web3 (Web 3.0) is the new technology paradigm that includes the concept of metaverses by integrating the concept of interoperability between these different media. This connection is made possible by NFTs, cryptocurrencies, and the exchange values of these new universes.
Web 2.0 is the Gafam and digital paradigm as we understand it today, while Web 3.0 is a more independent form of the web created thanks to the blockchain, a completely decentralized protocol validation technology.
One of Web3’s ambitions is to allow full interdependence between these different metrics. But the sometimes divergent interests of the main players pose risks that make the task more complicated.
What are the opportunities for companies in Metaverse?
We are currently seeing a race towards metaverses. Brands want to position themselves not to miss the Web3 transformation. They offer immersive experiences, virtual galleries, and mobilize their communities, allowing them to attract a younger audience. Evidence of current enthusiasm for the metaverse, Carrefour and AXA, for example, have purchased virtual land on The Sandbox.
Luxury homes also saw the metaverse as a business opportunity. To celebrate its bicentennial, Louis Vuitton (its parent company LVMH “reverberation”Suggest a game in which the NFT is hidden. Dolce & Gabbana earned €5 million selling their NFT collection while Ralph Lauren launched her winter sportswear collection on Roblox.
Glossary of terms
blockchain Blockchain technology that secures and verifies transactions.
Cryptocurrency Blockchain-based virtual currency.
metaverse An immersive virtual world consisting of a group of virtual universes, connected via the blockchain.
NFT (non-fungible token) A symbol resulting from associating an irreplaceable asset (photo, music, artwork, etc.) to a digital certificate.
augmented reality Immersive technology for adding virtual objects that interact with the real world.
Web 3.0 or Web3 New version of the web. Internet users can transfer their data from one platform to another thanks to the blockchain.