Socialising is one of the core concepts of the metaverse. Big corporates like JP Morgan are trying to get people on the metaverse majorly for customer service and customer feedback. In the Web 2.0 world, social media has been a game changer for businesses in getting customer feedback. Imagine a combination of the metaverse and social media in Web 3.0, revolutionizing online interactions. That’s how Metaverse social media simplifies communication and intensifies the concept of online global interconnectivity.
Read ahead about how the metaverse is reinventing the use of social media.
Social media has become a dominant theme over the last two decades. It has allowed people to communicate, transact, and share their interests virtually, eliminating the physical need to cross borders. With the metaverse, social media is only expected to become more immersive.
The metaverse may rightly be viewed as an extension of social media that will enhance consumer experiences with an added layer of immersion, i.e., experiences that involve sensory involvement from users at multiple levels. The metaverse can use virtual and augmented reality to enrich the many familiar elements of social media, such as collaboration, live events, commerce, etc.
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Facebook changing its name to Meta is perhaps the biggest example of a social media company embracing the metaverse. Meta is creating a virtual reality-enabled social network. But it isn’t all about Meta. Snapchat could already be leading the field. Even though the company stands apart from the immersive metaverse described by meta, its augmented reality additions to its current Web2 app already put them ahead in the metaverse space.
The metaverse gives social media companies a high potential to increase their revenue. With the metaverse, social media platforms can grow their user base, particularly among tech-savvy consumers who value a digital presence similar to their physical identity and are not shy of investing money in new technologies and services.
Brands from many sectors have already started expanding into the metaverse to meet this generation’s expectations. Some giant names are Nike, Gucci, JP Morgan, HSBC, and Accenture. It only confirms that the metaverse can be used to expand social media while providing new opportunities for consumers and businesses.
Moreover, using the metaverse can change the social media marketing landscape. Advertisers will have a unique opportunity to target their customers by using their online presence and virtual environments. Interactive 3-D models will revolutionize product marketing, as brilliantly exemplified by Bluemoon—the first global collaborative NFT marketplace that combines all aspects of virtual and augmented realities with its own metaverse and uses social media to empower users and creators.
Bluemoon allows people to create customizable virtual reality spaces to showcase their brands and/or products. The spaces can implement strategies such as trying things before making a purchase, providing information on how to use/apply products correctly, etc. With the metaverse, social media marketers can take a more targeted approach to cater to the needs of their user base.
Let’s look at how social media in the metaverse will affect different stakeholders, such as businesses and influencers.
The metaverse can be viewed as an amalgamation of e-commerce, gaming, productivity tools, extended reality, and social media. While the first three features give us activities to keep busy in the metaverse, the extended reality feature ensures that every activity is immersive, providing a heightened sense of being there. Social media elements (such as liking, commenting, sharing, interacting with other users, etc.) ensure that all the experiences are coupled with the real world. Therefore, social media platforms in the metaverse will be more geared towards providing interactive and immersive experiences that stimulate our senses instead of simply connecting us to people over 2-dimensional web pages.
The metaverse gives businesses a never-like-before platform to advertise and promote their products and/or services. Just as web2 redefined marketing with the rise of influencers, web3 will bring just as new and exciting ways to create hype and excitement around brands. For example, Nike, Gucci, and Mcdonald’s have already begun creating virtual versions of their products that can be sold as NFTs within the metaverse. These virtual products can also be used to decorate avatars and virtual spaces. The expected track here is the emergence of influencer avatars who can influence and lead buying decisions of the rest of the consumers in the metaverse.
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While virtual reality involves stepping inside a virtual world, AR overlays computer graphics on the real world around us. We already have web3 social media services that function around blockchain and NFTs and use AR to bring virtual reality elements into real life.
The metaverse may be considered a niche product than media and other mainstream products. Irrespective, it offers some exciting, influencer-centric capabilities in the web3 space. Influencers can monetize their activities in the metaverse in several different ways. One of these ways is to hold virtual land within a metaverse space that can be used to organize ticketed events or rented out to others.
Another way is for influencers to partner with big brands who are either already established in the metaverse or are considering the possibility shortly. Through this partnership, they can promote their products and/or services, similar to what Instagram influencers currently do. However, given the immersive nature of the metaverse, these promotions have the potential to be highly interactive and personalized.
The metaverse’s growing popularity and adoption raises significant concerns about data privacy, user protection, intellectual property rights violation, etc., and cannot be avoided. The problem of groping in the metaverse has already seen the light of day. We all know, sadly by experience, that it only takes one moment in media to ruin someone’s reputation. But regardless, social media is lauded for making it easier to connect with friends; on the other hand, there have been innumerable incidents of harassment, cyber-bullying, and spreading of fake news and conspiracy theories.
When assaults and crimes of high intensity can happen over a 2-D network, a 3-D, the immersive network has the potential to magnify these. Anyone thinking of exploring the metaverse needs to carefully understand the possible hazards and familiarise themselves with the tools different platforms use to limit the danger.
Although, as the metaverse evolves into a productive tool for humanity, safety risks and other concerns are being diagnosed and tested. The existing social media networks have taught us valuable lessons in user authentication, data privacy, policy violations, and freedom of speech. Thus, upcoming metaverse virtual worlds are being designed holistically, not only to provide optimum immersive experience but also with top-notch security.
With steady progress and popularity accompanying the metaverse, it is safe to assume that it might just replace ‘traditional’ social networks. The metaverse is a social platform by its true nature. And as discussed above, the metaverse unlocks new social and financial benefits. Platforms like Roblox and Fortnite, originally considered gaming spaces, are gradually evolving into media spaces. With decentralization at its core, the metaverse represents a transformative shift for social networking from central ownership. It brings an age where users own their data, and companies fairly reward loyalty.
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It is, however, impossible to predict when this will happen. For the metaverse to truly be adopted by the masses, we need to consider technological adoption more than anything else. While it is possible to access metaverse platforms via a desktop, true immersion can only be experienced with a virtual reality headset. Bringing these accessories down at an affordable consumer price will take some time. However, this time frame need not be a bad thing. If anything, it gives metaverse platforms years to experiment and build reliable products and/or services.
Some of the biggest metaverse platforms that are likely to replace media in the future include:
The metaverse is bound to have a deep impact. Just as it is the next evolution of online gaming, e-commerce, and remote working, it is the next evolution of media. The metaverse will, in a sense, allow us to step inside our digital lives and experience it together with people worldwide. Everything we love about networking will be magnified because of the immersive nature of the metaverse media.
Interconnectivity is the foundation of the metaverse. Even non-web-based companies like Wendy’s, JP Morgan, Samsung, etc., have social spaces in the metaverse that reverberate the rudiment principles of social platforms. A close-to-accurate prediction that can be made about media in the metaverse is that SocialFi will exist parallel to other DeFi sectors, and the social industry that we are so familiar with today will disintegrate.
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