Big giants who have been aggressively investing in the Web3 concept have given the smaller players a boost to seek and invest. A perfect merger between metaverse and enterprises will pave the way for a plethora of opportunities. With time a domino effect of companies will roll the virtual world duplicating it just like the real one. Some of the early businesses that are thriving on the metaverse are…
The utmost use of a virtual world is to invariably connect better thus implying rampant socializing. Mark Zuckerberg in his Meta launch video too described the metaverse as a virtual place where people (avatars) from different places on Earth can connect in a single place to socialize. While the face of socializing has already changed since the advent of the Internet, the next step with Web3 looks like a whole new approach.
More Companies/ brands will be strategizing their marketing campaigns on these platforms to capture the target audience. The current social media platforms will become more immersive and much more engaging. Brands like Samsung have held product launch events in current metaverse platforms, for instance, offering users exclusive NFTs for their participation.
One of the most spoken-about changes caused by the pandemic was hosting virtual events against the traditional ones. These events erased limitations of physical space, time and movement. Virtual events that have gained popularity in the last few years will have more takers in Metaverse; it seems a very promising platform to further enhance the experience of such events. Companies, exhibitors and participants will be able to connect, showcase & communicate unhinged by geographies.
Concerts have been successful in connecting people from across the globe without having them leave their physical space. For instance, Travis Scott’s concert in the Videogame space was attended by over 2 million people in their digital avatars. One of the pioneering social media platforms to have held virtual concerts during the pandemic was, TikTok – where Canadian singer, The Weeknd’s virtual concert showcased an animated version of him performing his hit song “Blinded By the Lights,” along with virtual backup dancers performing the famous TikTok dance for the song.
Virtual Real Estate
As real estate in the physical world keeps getting scarce, brands and companies are jumping on investments in virtual land. Companies are bidding for real estate in the metaverse to set up their virtual stores for higher engagement of their consumers. NFT lands are getting popular among investors. Platforms like Sandbox and Decentraland are selling virtual lands through tokens such as SAND and MANA respectively. It is important to note that these lands cannot be purchased by normal currency, they can only be purchased by the use of crypto. Investors broke the digital real-estate records in November 2020, totalling nearly $5 million in one week in two transactions at $2.43 million on Decentraland and $2.3 million on Axie Infinity.
While companies are already investing in the metaverse real estate, it only makes sense that they will further build on these lands to enhance their virtual presence. Fashion houses have already begun to experiment in the metaverse as it gives a viable platform to showcase their products. As the metaverse gives a 3D immersive level of engagement to its users, they can best use this to their advantage. The digital avatars of the users can try out the products in the virtual space before they make any purchases. The metaverse for businesses also offers the retail sector a platform to introduce new products. It is also helpful to businesses in conducting research, and understanding consumer behaviour and their purchasing patterns.
To authenticate fashion experiences, brands are exploring virtual fashion shows. In March this year, MVFW – Metaverse Fashion Week 2022 was held. It was Decentraland’s Fashion Week built entirely on the blockchain, created on land sold as NFTs and digital fashion bought and worn as NFTs. Brands such as Etro, Dundas, Dolce & Gabbana and Estée Lauder participated in the 4-day long fashion fiesta. The concept generated hype and grabbed enough eyeballs.
Decentralized Commerce will redefine consumer experiences in this reality. A case in point here is the Boson Protocol which enables a decentralized ecosystem that allows the participants to share what they create online for exchange of value. The use of NFTs in game theory ensures that the creators get a monetary exchange for their art. It is an open platform that lets anyone build anything they want that others can use and trust. A perfect match for the exchange of digital assets for physical products, services and experiences. Boson Protocol is taking the quintessential producer-consumer approach to a new level.
“Sing Tao and ZIBS’s collaboration to promote the Metaverse Campus is a breakthrough in the metaverse, aiming to push the media and higher education into a new era,” shared CAI Jin, Co-CEO of Hong Kong-based media company Sing Tao News Corporation Limited. In officially launching its Metaverse campus in April 2022, Zhejiang University International Business School (ZIBS) had scholars, business leaders and experts from across the world celebrate and witness the grand event. Changing the learning landscape for the world to connect and develop beyond geographical borders is another entity – London-based Inspired Education which has expressed its plan on becoming the first to launch Metaverse School with groundbreaking VR technology.
This makes learning and development possibilities in the metaverse a promising business opportunity. The educational sector had seen a drastic shift from classroom learning to e-learning where students across the globe adapted to these changes. The metaverse will further the sector with an immersive learning experience in the field of medicine, defence, and higher education among others. VR will be a major component in making this a success for the sector. This VR-based learning will improve the way students learn, adapt and understand various concepts and ideas. Moreover, the metaverse version of a classroom will surpass all language barriers.
Accenture, a global consultancy firm 2020 had created an integrated employee engagement platform called the Nth floor. Built using Microsoft’s Mesh mixed-reality (MR) platform, it allowed Accenture workers to meet for presentations, socialize with each other and attend training sessions without actually meeting in person. Similarly, PwC designed its own PwC virtual parks allowing users to create avatars, move around and participate in events. Other cases of Hyundai and Siemens are already leveraging the metaverse for hiring people.
This wide use of the metaverse will be to enhance employee engagement; what began as a zoom call to curb the shortcomings of the pandemic has evolved into so much more now that the metaverse has come to the scene. Companies are utilizing the metaverse to further build and strengthen employee engagement. Virtual workspaces with augmented reality applications can foster better connections, healthier engagement levels and build collaboration among diverse teams.
Cryptocurrency and blockchain go hand in hand when metaverse is discussed so do crypto tokens and NFTs. Everything on the metaverse right from the avatar to the dresses, accessories, experiences, shopping or any recreational activity of sorts is transacted in digital currency in the form of crypto or NFTs. Amongst all of these, there are NFTs, which allow for the purchase or sale of one-of-a-kind digital artworks on the blockchain. Businesses will purchase land, property, or sell their products too in the form of NFTs; there is no physical currency in the metaverse. Thus, the metaverse becomes an ideal place to own and trade in digital assets. As everyone proceeds to make their presence felt in Web3, governments and companies will have to look into implementing and laying down rules and regulations to guide the activities in the metaverse. VARA – Dubai’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority has already announced its entry into the Metaverse with the establishment of its Metaverse HQ in the dynamic virtual world of ‘The Sandbox’.
At this point what is interesting is to witness how varied entities evolve, bring about changes or make additions to their current models to accommodate Web3 in its full capacity. This is only the beginning of a new era where machines, humans and ideas merge to create something extraordinary in this new realm of technology.