How the Metaverse will impact Digital Media

A month ago, Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the change of the company’s name to Meta Platforms Inc. Shortly after we could already see the Meta logo when we open our Facebook and Instagram apps.  

The Facebook entry on the metaverse world brought immense attention to something that was already happening. This new world will transform the way we connect in the upcoming years.  

Besides needing our usual gadgets, like smartphones, we will also have to resort to augmented reality glasses and virtual reality headsets. But regardless of any gadgets or technology, we may need to access this world, we will need content creators to create a whole new universe of content.  

The metaverse will be an extension of our physical lives, and it will bring new ways for us to consume content, communicate, shop, play, and interact with brands. It will also change the way we work, facilitating virtual meetings and business presentations.  

There are endless possibilities of what can be done here. For the tourism industry, for example, you’ll be able to travel without leaving your living room. Retail is already strong on the game and fashion brands are selling digital clothes and creating their own virtual universes.  

Gucci has collaborated with Roblox to sell a collection of digital-only accessories. It was called the “Gucci Garden Experience”. A virtual bag they started selling for U$6 reached the price of U$4.115 at some point.  

Nike is another brand that has created its virtual showroom on Roblox, called “Nikeland”. Users that enter “Nikeland” can try on sneakers and other apparel, all surrounded by colourful designs matching the brand’s visual identity.  

Other brands that had their debut on the metaverse are Balenciaga, Clinique, Dyson, and Vans. Obviously, all the other big players will follow, and content creators working in the metaverse will have to be ingeniously inventive in creating a world, campaign, and interaction that resonates with the brand’s DNA, while effectively engaging with the audience.  

Companies from all segments will be creating their worlds on metaverse platforms. This means potential for endless collaborations between platforms and brands, which translates into lots of business and money to be made.  

Video game companies had a head start, and some of them are metaverse pioneers. The Roblox platform is definitely one of the main metaverse players, with currently 42.1 million daily users. Fortnite has raised U$1 billion for their metaverse building plans.  

The prospects for this year bring us an estimate that approximately 85 million users will experience AR or VR at least once in 2021. “Metaverse” word search on Google has already reached 677 thousand results this year. On Twitter, the #metaverse is used more than 500 times per hour. By these numbers, we can already have an idea of what is coming. 

For the time being, metaverse platforms are free to use. This might be the perfect time to get in there and start familiarising yourself, learn about the tools and features of each one. In the near future, instead of writing blog posts, or Instagram reels, our job as creators will be to create whole universes full of details, immersive experiences, digital products, and who knows what else. 

Since the creation of cryptocurrencies, blockchain, and NFT’s, the virtual world is getting stronger and more competitive than our old real one. All these technologies will intertwine, creating endless possibilities for business, payment methods, and profits.  

At this very moment, you can even buy your little piece of virtual land. Earth 2 is currently selling virtual real estate that is going quick and every day more expensive. In about 10 years, all industries will be functioning on metaverse somehow, and now is the time to start thinking about how to achieve that. 

It does not matter if your industry is luxury, games, music, events, tech, or fashion, you will be in the metaverse soon. Avatars that can be 3D versions of yourself, or a completely different version, trying on virtual apparel, going to a concert with friends, playing and travelling. It will be online but it will feel real in your soul and wallet.  

Imagine all the possibilities, and that aligned with the times we are living in. The pandemic is not yet gone, and maybe we will be living in some sort of lockdown for many years to come. This will make the metaverse even more successful, and an ally for us craving connection and fun.  

Microsoft secured their place, and have big plans on the metaverse. They want to integrate AR and VR, using avatars in an office focused environment. Nvidia announced they will be creating avatars using facial tracking, speech recognition, and 3D animation. The project will be called the “Nvidia Omniverse Platform”.  

I believe it’s clear that the metaverse is here to stay, and it is undeniably our future. We must understand how this will impact the digital media industry, and be quick to be a part of this universe. There will be an infinite amount of content to be created, so I hope you get quickly acquainted with this whole new world.  

By Amelia De Oliveira Rodrigues

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