Exciting New Opportunities for Marketers: The utopian promise of Metaverse
At the end of the year 2021, Mark Zuckerberg announced the next chapter of his company with the renaming of Facebook to Meta. “We put a flag in the ground with Meta as our new name and vision for the future,” writes Zuckerberg in a post from the 15th of February this year on the platform. He continues: “Now is the right time to update our values and our cultural operating system.”
Formerly guided by single mission statements such as “Move fast and break things.” and “Give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together”. Meta now applies a set of company values: Move Fast; Focus on Long-Term Impact; Build Awesome Things; Live in the Future; Be Direct and Respect Your Colleagues; and Meta, Metamates, Me. While their meaning is not readily understandable, the focus is on invention, commitment, target orientation, usability, creation, and togetherness. That’s definitely a mouth-full and some ambitious statements, but what does it hold for us, marketers, influencers and consumers?
What is a metaverse?
The term “metaverse” still remains vague and intangible. To better understand the vision we can replace it by “cyberspace” in a sentence. The meaning won’t substantially change in 90% of the cases. That is, because metaverse doesn’t refer to a specific technology, but rather a shift in our interaction with technology. In fact, in 1992 Neal Stephenson coined the term “metaverse” in his breakthrough novel, Snow Crash, to visualize a wireless, online virtual-reality experience. In a literary way Stephenson explores then-futuristic technologies like mobile computing, virtual reality, wireless Internet, digital currency, smartphones, and augmented-reality headsets.
Today’s metaverse makes use of technology like virtual and augmented reality, too. However, these worlds can also be accessed via VR or AR, but equally through PCs, game consoles, and even phones. In a video on Youtube, Meta shows how they even want to use an Avengers-like hologram, when a girl just joins her friend in a concert that’s happening halfway across the world.
Let’s envision the future together
Let’s say a parallel universe and the chance for diversity and inclusion are not an either-or option. Metaverse is the vision of a world in which we work and play together. Metaverse is the vision of a world for everyone, regardless of their physical presence. However, Meta states: “It’s not necessarily about spending more time online — it’s about making the time you do spend online more meaningful.” With all the speculation and critique on these notions, we might have the possibility to actively create the future that we envision, as the metaverse can’t be built by one company alone or just overnight.
To achieve these ambitious goals, Meta strives to collaborate with experts in government, industry and academia. Different companies can work together to ensure success that depends on building robust interoperability across services. Moreover, the tech giant plans to involve human rights and civil rights communities to ensure inclusive and empowering technologies. These key areas are: economic opportunity; privacy; safety and integrity; and equity inclusion.
Opportunities for Marketers in the metaverse
Undoubtedly though, we might still be a bit skeptical: forecasts could turn out to be false. Kolsquare knows why brands shouldn’t wait to start thinking about the metaverse. While there are always two sides of the coin, the possibilities are endless: Connecting people face-to-face; removing realworld geographical constraints and therefore lowering the costs and carbon footprints of events and experiences; enabling the mobility to those with physical disabilities, giving people more freedom to explore, engage and interact; and removing biases?
In addition, virtual worlds offer a high level of engagement, that spans from digitally twinning real locations, building bespoke new worlds, to inspiring immersive, interactive and verisimilar experiences. Surely, brands strive to provide exclusive, one-of-a-kind experiences for their consumer, imaginatively possible in new virtual, experiential formats.
Metaworlds live and die with content, like any other marketing channel. Thus, the content must be compelling (fascinating and fun) and relevant (timely and audience-specific). Now, we add an immersive experience, which occupies interests and attention. Creating rich 3D content and getting customers to explore the new channel with a high level of immediacy, interactivity and engagement, is the newest challenge marketers and influencers have to face.
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