Big news came out of Facebook with the announcement of Meta. Meta is the Facebook rebrand where the aim is to continue bringing people together and connecting them. An essential part of this is focusing on the AR/VR world.
And in fitting, it was announced at the Facebook Connect virtual reality conference.
But don’t think that this is the end of Instagram, Whatsapp or Messenger. The announcement means there’ll be more of a focus on creating the Metaverse as it looks like Zuckerberg believes this is the next step for the future.
The Facebook Metaverse is what you can imagine seeing in a sci-fi movie. You see someone strapping on a headset, sitting back in their chair, and going into another reality, like in the film Ready, Player One.
Picture yourself walking around as an avatar where you can go shopping, talk and hang with your friends, and participate in leisure activities.
In a video presentation, Zuckerberg also spoke about how immersive learning will become, allowing someone to transport anywhere and at any time just by putting on a VR headset.
We’ve been waiting for the Metaverse for decades, from the first imagining of it in sci-fi books to seeing similar things on the big screen. And we are already in the digital age.
A report shows that the number of video gamers worldwide in 2021 is 3.24 billion. Paired together with statistics of people spending up to 6.4 hours a day on a device connected to the Internet, you can already see there might be an audience for a more immersive world than our games consoles, computers, and mobile phones.
Imagine entering the Metaverse and seeing your favorite artist perform live, and you could walk around them, arms-length away while they play your favorite songs.
Imagine being able to try on different clothes in a blink of an eye and finding that perfect look you’re going for.
Imagine meeting up on the Metaverse with your long-distance relatives and going sledding in some remote corner of the Metaverse or taking a gondola in Venice.
It may take years or decades, but the Facebook Metaverse could dominate life when technology catches up with imagination.
If you haven’t already figured it out, the Metaverse can easily be the next big thing, and with Meta investing millions into tools to build the Metaverse, you can see that this isn’t planning to be an overnight fad.
So how might this change things for your small businesses? Let’s look at some of the pros and cons of the Metaverse.
Let’s first look at the advantages:
Removing the location barrier means you can interact more intimately with your customers. If you are a small community-led business, the Metaverse will allow you to meet up with your customers regardless of where you are in the world.
Rather than just being the community owner, it transitions your relationship to something akin to friendship, building more trust.
Again, since physical limitations are no longer a problem, anyone can visit your business. You could have your store on the Metaverse, allowing people to browse what you have for sale, whenever they like or wherever they live in the world.
The more people join the Metaverse, the more people will want to stick out, be themselves, and showcase their personality. One way they could do this is with items for their avatars, such as clothes or accessories.
Fortnite, a popular free-to-play third-person shooter, made $1.8 billion in 2019 from microtransactions that come from costume sales.
There is already a demand for cosmetic digital items, so what better way to increase revenues than with company-branded digital merchandise your fans can wear.
Now let’s look at the disadvantages:
For people to enter the Facebook Metaverse, they require a VR headset. A VR headset isn’t something you have lying around the house for most people. Unless you’re an early adopter, you probably don’t have one in your home.
Without the desire to own one, it’s unlikely someone will spend upward of $200 to buy one, getting prepared for the future. So until the demand is high or the cost is low enough for anyone to buy a VR headset, it may take multiple years before millions of people are all on the Metaverse.
Depending on what you want to get out of the Facebook Metaverse, you may have to invest. As mentioned before, if you’re creating digital merchandise, someone will have to make them. If you don’t have someone to do this on your team, you will have to outsource it.
And if the Facebook Metaverse explodes, it’s likely the high demand for the creation of virtual items will go up.
Like the changes that COVID made to small businesses, pushing them online, it’s possible the Facebook Metaverse could be world-changing. It could happen in a couple of years or maybe 10, but watching how it plays out or even becoming an early adopter could pay in the long term.
Will you use Facebook Metaverse to promote your small business? Let us know by tweeting @Bluehost.