2022 will not be the year of the metaverse

So far, the hype around the Metaverse has been little more than a buzzword and a space mostly reserved for gaming. Understanding why this is and what is likely to happen, however, is something most knowledgeable small and medium business owners will want to know. While its time is clearly not yet, there will come a day that the metaverse will matter more to everyone – business owners and employees alike.

One thing is clear about the Metaverse: Everyone is talking about it, despite the fact that few people know with any specificity what it is. It is seen as the next frontier, the next gold rush, the next big thing. It is a term used to describe a generic, unified virtual world – the next generation of the Internet – Web 3.0. In terms of their generational importance, both Y and Z view the metaverse and the virtual world interchangeably, as large deals, with 67% of the combined group, according to Y pulse, experts in all things Gen Y and Z, agree that the metaverse is the next big thing and that 73% of all young people are saying the same thing about the virtual world. It is also a place many young people are already familiar with in terms of their social lives, as many of them have been playing in its 2.0 version for quite a long time.

Young people who have played games like Roblox, Fortnite, Minecraft, and Animal Crossing are already spending time in this 2.0 version of the Metaverse. In fact, 75% of them – 88% of Gen Z and 70% of Millennials – have played a game that brought them into a virtual world. And during Covid, they started using these spaces and time in these games as much as to move around in the game.

Young people learned that the metaverse was a place in which they could socialize at a time when the rest of the world was closed to them. According to YPulse, while 61% and 48% of Gen Z and Millennials respectively prefer virtual spaces for gaming, 48% and 39% choose them to hang out with friends. Still others say they can’t buy it in real life (31%/24%), try hobbies they can’t do in real life (30%/25%), and meet people like that. What they can’t do in real life (29%/25%) which makes virtual space fun for them. Nearly all of them, 92%, say that their virtual world life affects their lives in the physical world – their hobbies, their style, the music they listen to, and even their friendships, relationships, and mental health. Health too. 80% of youth believe that it is possible to spend meaningful time with others in the virtual world. Furthermore, 72% agree that it is easier to talk to others in the virtual world than in real life (IRL). And 41% of Zs and 34% of Millennials say that walking around in a virtual world as their avatar helps them express their creativity, with 32% of Zs and 30% of Millennials believing that their avatar is a part of their own. Represents the proven version. Young people are able to participate in art exhibitions, film festivals and music festivals within these new idealized, virtual worlds, usually with idealized avatar representations of themselves.

Similarly, young people are blurring their purchasing behavior between the real and virtual worlds as brands become increasingly important in all aspects of virtual life. Brands such as Gucci, Balenciaga, D&G and others now offer wearables and other products for avatars in the virtual world. Even now, 56% of youth surveyed by YPulse say they have purchased clothing or accessories for their avatars in the virtual world. What’s more, 69% said they are open to seeing brands’ ads in the virtual world, with 61% agreeing with the statement, “When brands interact with the virtual world I’m a part of, it makes me feel better about them.” are more likely to make a purchase.” Additionally, 84% said they would be willing to participate in a branding event in their virtual world. Primarily, then, as more and more brands are occupying credible positions in the metaverse, brands like McDonald’s, Miller Lite, Adidas and others snapped virtual real estate into a land grab that could top $500 million in 2021. was.

As far as the future is concerned, most young people (73%) want to see a virtual world that allows them to do a lot. Already, 30% of young people see the metaverse as a place they will eventually work in the future. For now, however, most see the metaverse as an opportunity for personal commerce and entertainment and one they access in the 2.0 configuration of the Web.

The future of the metaverse, in terms of work and business, however, exists in version 3.0 of the Internet, where even the most popular content today controls a much smaller user base. Likely to run on Blockchain technology, Metaverse for Work will be a place where people will come together, virtually, to interact together and with elements of their work, in three virtual dimensions, in real time, anywhere on the planet. From too. Despite the immediate ambitions of aging executives like Mark Zuckerberg and Satya Nadella, its forerunners will most certainly be young Millennials and Gen Z, and their organizations will be throwing millions of dollars at their own platforms – neither of those who have any cash with young people. Is . really, express vpn A recent survey on the topic of the Metaverse found that only 61% of employees trust Microsoft with their concerns about the Metaverse and even less, only 36%, trust Meta. Beyond personal brand trust issues, current hardware implementations and potential security concerns also stand in the way of the soon-to-be-understood metaverse’s work.

The working-aged Zs I spoke with who are looking to a Metaverse capable workspace may want a helmet-less or headset-less solution before they get on board. The idea of ​​spending a few hours a day in a helmet or headset is a dead turn for the dozen young people I talked to about the Metaverse workplace. Furthermore, YPulse found that only 9% of young people own a headset anyway. In addition, possibly due to early pioneers in the space, YPulse found that nearly a fifth of those surveyed used words such as “weird” and “creepy” to describe the future of the metaverse in addition to a third or so. used for. Words like “exciting (38%) and innovative (31%). This was bolstered by the research work done so far by ExpressVPN; 24%, 20% and 16% of their sample said they were worried, suspicious and distrustful One final metaverse implementation for the job.

The ExpressVPN team further found that almost all of these concerns were rooted in issues of personal data security and surveillance. While more than half of workers expressed curiosity about a final Metaverse work solution, more than half believed that Metaverse would positively impact productivity, unfortunately nearly two-thirds (63%) of the ExpressVPN sample reported their Expressed concern about employers. Data in the metaverse and (61%) in virtual workspaces are being monitored by their employer. So, again, young activists are not dismissing the notion of a metaverse capable workforce. They can visualize it quite positively. But not until the potential security issues are resolved.

So, I think this is the real story of the Metaverse workplace, which many people predicted for 2022. It’s not yet, not by you, and if you plan on spying on me, it’s a simple story.

These younger generations have shown remarkable tolerance for change. But they tell us where and how fast they will go, and who will let them take them there. I suspect the transition to the work’s metaverse will unfold accordingly. It will grow over time… out of gaming… when these youngsters are ready. It will be led by brands they trust. And they will from now on define the standards at which they will almost certainly be cast out for anything to do with the social media apps of the century used by their grandparents.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.