The Metaverse is growing, bringing many new opportunities for businesses and creators. Here are a few noteworthy emerging trends in the Metaverse.
The metaverse is gaining popularity, and for good reason too. The big advantage of the metaverse is that it makes it easier for people to connect from anywhere across the globe while being more enveloped in the activity and environment. With a more immersive experience, the metaverse allows for more opportunities for both personal and business ventures. You can exercise, socialize, play games, and have business meetings in a virtual environment.
Even if you’re not familiar with the Metaverse, you may have experienced things that are related to it. Video games are commonly used for describing what a Metaverse is similar to, as video games allow players to interact and engage in different worlds, and even build their own world. Technology related to Web 3.0 such as blockchain and cryptocurrencies is part of the metaverse experience. Besides that, virtual and augmented reality are also related to the Metaverse.
Since the Metaverse is only going to get bigger and better, let’s take a look at some of the emerging trends in the Metaverse.
One of the biggest trends that are already taking over the metaverse space is Cryptocurrencies and NFTs (Non-fungible tokens). Technically, anything in digital form can be turned into an NFT. Each NFT is tied to a digital (or in some cases, physical) asset of the original owner, such as famous tweets, Facebook posts, Instagram pictures, and more. The growth of NFTs is rapid, with it being a more than $10 billion market now.
NFTs are regarded as collectibles, and they are not limited to just buying digital prints that exist only in the virtual space. Instead, you can even put that art in your house through Augmented Reality. NFTs as digital assets have proven profitable as their treatment moves from hype to utility.
The important part of the metaverse is that it is decentralized, meaning that it is free to be an open ecosystem for everyone. The metaverse will not be controlled or monopolized by any single company, institution, or entity. Therefore, digital items like NFTs can be created, sold, and purchased in an open market, owned by an individual user without interference from a centralised entity. This signifies true ownership of digital property rights that can never be revoked without the permission or knowledge of the individual.
Metaverse as a Service
You may be familiar with the term SaaS (Software as a Service), but what about Metaverse as a service?
To understand Metaverse as a Service, we first have to understand what “As-a-service” means. The term originates from XaaS, which is short for Everything-as-a-Service and sometimes Anything-as-a-Service. Organizations are leveraging “servitization”—the combination of products and services into a single package. The ‘As-a-service’ model is popular as a way to offer businesses a product which is simplified and consolidated, and often with end-to-end services.
Today, nearly everything can be deployed on an ‘as-a-Service’ model, providing customers with greater flexibility and vendors with a steady stream of revenues. Now, with the metaverse gaining popularity, firms can deploy the Metaverse using a similar model, giving rise to Metaverse-as-a-Service (MaaS).
MaaS is an enterprise solution that allows organizations to develop and strengthen their presence in a 3D virtual world in order to support collaboration, business processes, investments, cryptocurrency, and other related use cases.
There are several benefits of using MaaS:
Any company can develop Metaverse products with the resources from MaaS providers, even if they do not have extensive expertise or experience with virtual solutions. Therefore, even small to mid-sized businesses can have a hand in the Metaverse.
MaaS encourages investment in what is still an experimental technology. Most platforms are still limited to consumer use cases and solutions like Meta’s Horizons’ suite of apps or Microsoft Mesh are yet to see widespread release. In this environment, MaaS allows companies to invest and gain from the technology with minimal risk.
Eventually, MaaS could drive standardization in the sector, with a few companies acting as Metaverse ‘brokers’ to help in infrastructure development.
Metaverse real estate
Metaverse real estate is parcels of land in virtual worlds. In essence, they are pixels, but they are more than just digital images. In these programmable virtual spaces, users can connect, create, and cultivate. Digitised land enables owners and creators to monetise on them by allowing access, renting, leasing, and even trading their NFT properties, in a similar process to the physical real estate industry. Virtual real estate trends are breaking physical barriers, with the Metaverse- sales of real estate surpassing US$500 million in 2021, and are expected to further soar by doubling this year.
With the positive outlook on metaverse growth, companies have been heavily investing in virtual land properties. Bangkokverse, a Metaverse platform developed by top Thai 3D creators, has caught the attention of some prominent real-estate developers in the nation, namely AssetWise, Eastern Star Real Estate, Frasers Property (Thailand), and more, believing it could potentially boost occupancy and revolutionise Thailand’s real estate industry.
Metaverse for Events
The benefit of the Metaverse for the events sector is that it offers unlimited space for ideas. By contrast, an office or meeting room can only hold a finite number of monitors, and monitors can only display a limited number of simultaneous video feeds. With the metaverse, there is no hard limit on the number of people who can get involved.
The highly immersive and extensible nature of the metaverse is such that it can be used for hosting events of practically any size, including major trade fairs and the like. For smaller-scale events, such as business meetings and conferences, the metaverse helps remove the remoteness from remote work. This can help increase engagement and company culture alike, in a way that meetings over platforms like Zoom or Microsoft Teams never could.
The metaverse greatly expands on the concept of gamification, which has now been widely adopted as a way to engage both customers and employees and, in the case of events, attendees. This results in more dynamic and connected workplaces, along with an increased ability for self-expression and creativity.
There certainly seems to be an appetite for this type of model when you look at something like Epic Games’ “Fortnite” video game, which in April 2020 saw a whopping 12 million fans create avatars and gather in a virtual space to watch rapper Travis Scott perform—also as an avatar. Just last month, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates predicted that within the next two to three years, most virtual meetings would “move from 2D camera image grids … to the metaverse, a 3D space with digital avatars.”
The rise of the Metaverse provides many opportunities for businesses, brands and creators, offering more space to monetize their work in an engaging and creative way. As the virtual space is fast-moving and always improving, it’s important to keep up with the latest trends to stay ahead of the game.