If you have been wondering what the hype around metaverse is and just don’t seem to get it, don’t fret, you are not alone. Rather, you will find yourself in the company of 49 percent of Americans who were recently surveyed and were equally clueless about it.
Last year, Facebook made news when Mark Zuckerberg pivoted the company to begin building his vision of the metaverse. Following this move, a host of globally known names ranging from those in the fashion industry to sportswear, have taken the plunge into the metaverse and revealed plans of how they plan to expand their brands in this digital world. Last month, JP Morgan Chase became the first-ever bank in the metaverse as it looks to cash in on the $1 trillion market opportunity.
Although Zuckerberg wasn’t the first person to coin the term ‘metaverse’, Facebook’s decision to enter a largely unknown territory during some uncertain times raised a lot of interest. The world was still coming to terms with a potentially new COVID variant when Zuckerberg decided to unveil how he saw the metaverse.
In his keynote speech, while announcing the company name change, Zuckerberg said that 3D spaces in the metaverse will let people socialize, learn, play, and collaborate in ways we have never seen before. The company revealed one of its virtual reality worlds later in the year to all those who had access to its proprietary headsets.
More recently, Zuckerberg further widened Meta’s task list when he said that over the next 5-10 years, the company would develop immersive virtual environments that allowed users to interact with sounds, fragrances, and even touch in their virtual worlds.
Other tech companies such as Microsoft or Baidu in China haven’t been very open about their long-term plans about their versions of the metaverse but see themselves as a part of this new world that continues to evolve every day.
In their grand plans of building a new digital realm that is very different from the one we are used to today, are these companies losing sight of who their customers are and what do they want?
Alongside metaverse, there are terms such as non-fungible tokens (NFTs), cryptocurrencies that have come up and also feature in plans of metaverses that companies are building. So, a marketing platform, Klaviyo, decided to conduct a survey to see how much did the customer actually know about all this and how keen were they to participate.
The survey conducted in February of this year involved 1,000 citizens in the U.S. and found that a whopping 49 percent of the participants did not know what the metaverse was.
Interestingly, the survey did include the younger crowd, the 18-24-year-olds who are otherwise keen on adopting new technologies. However, as the survey revealed, this age group responded that they were not keen on shopping in the metaverse with about 65 percent of respondents stating that they were simply not interested.
It wasn’t just the metaverse that the respondents were averse to. Similar responses were received with regards to NFTs and cryptocurrencies with close to 60 percent stating that they would not invest in an NFT and 30 percent firmly put on staying away from cryptocurrencies too.
Even among the other half of respondents who had actually heard about the metaverse, most were skeptical about how it would proceed, with 78 percent calling it a hype.
It is not just the U.S. that isn’t really interested in the metaverse. Klaviyo conducted a similar survey in the U.K. a month earlier. The responses they received across the pond were even more astounding. Among the 1,000 respondents in the U.K., 58 percent did not know what the metaverse was about while about 96 percent of those aged between 25 and 54 said that they would not shop in the metaverse.
Guess, there is a lot of groundwork that needs to be done in the real world before the Metaverse really blossoms into something meaningful.