According to the IFA Innovation Media Briefing hosted on July 5 and 6 in Berlin as part of the leadup to IFA 2023, the answer seems to lie somewhere in between. Similar to AR and VR, the metaverse is here to stay; however, its future implications may not be as flashy as the initial hype would have suggested.
Flashback to late 2021 and it was nearly impossible to attend a tech conference or scour headlines from major media outlets and not come across some mention of the metaverse, which was touted by many as the future of the internet. To put this craze in perspective, plots of virtual land in popular worlds such as Decentraland and Sandbox were being bought up by companies and individuals for millions of dollars.
However, with the recent boom in generative AI, the hype surrounding the metaverse has died down and the topic has largely faded from the public spotlight. So, was the metaverse just a fad that has come and gone, or has it faded from the limelight just to burst back onto the scene when it is least expected?
The metaverse, a term that refers to an immersive, shared virtual space powered by the internet, featured prominently among the trends highlighted in the briefing.
According to data cited by Influencer Marketing Hub, the metaverse currently has 400 million users monthly with 52.2 million users logging onto the popular metaverse platform Roblox on a daily basis. Out of these users, newzoo reported that 54 percent of daily users on Roblox were under 13 years old in 2020.
“Think of the Metaverse as just a website, community or social network,” says Hans Elstner, CEO of rooom, an enterprise metaverse solutions provider in the IFA Innovation Media Briefing 2023.
These usage trends present brands with a great platform for next-generation marketing. “There are good reasons for the metaverse especially when you have a closer look at what it can do in the marketing sector for companies,” Elstner continued. “It is amazing for creating leading shopping experiences or increasing sales and customer engagement. You can reach out to new and possibly younger target groups. It is a much better way of product visualization. It increases employee engagement and skills for training purposes, and it has amazing potential to reduce return rates.”
The metaverse is just one of the emerging technologies that will be a critical focus of IFA 2023. Be sure to follow along with us as we continue to explore the ways that these new technologies will change the way we interact with the world around us for the years to come.