Recent research shows that many people have heard of the “metaverse”, but only a fraction of them can explain what it is. This is not surprising considering that depending on who you ask, the metaverse is the next evolution of the internet. or mostly nonsense. A clear definition is lacking.
A March 2022 study by Wunderman Thompson Intelligence called “New Realities Into the Metaverse and Beyond”, interviewed over 3,000 people aged 16-65 from China, the US and the UK about the metaverse, cryptography and NFTs.
74% of people surveyed have heard of the metaverse, which is almost twice as many as the previous year. The same percentage also think the metaverse “is the future”. And yet, only 15% of those people say they “know what the metaverse is and can explain it to someone else.”
Of those who know what the metaverse is, their main concerns are privacy, data protection, and cyberbullying (for parents), as most consider it a digital platform for socializing. Over 50% of respondents see the metaverse as a place to work, shop, play, or all of the above, and 60% say it will be the future of e-commerce.
We have seen companies acquiring digital real estate in the so-called metaverse. More recently, Sketchers became the first apparel company to sign a lease for part of the Decentraland fashion districtand Nike set up a digital store in Roblox. Some brands also moved to Second Life many years ago, but it didn’t really catch on. (The creator of Second Life recently had some things to say about repeating history.)
The proportion of respondents who said they know what cryptocurrency is and can explain it to someone else was also 15%. Of these 15%, 42% own or have digital assets.
One thing I found quite surprising was the general acceptance of NFTs when it comes to retail. 60% of people familiar with the metaverse think brands should make and sell digital products alongside physical products. even with all the current volatility in anything related to blockchain, people see potential in the metaverse, whatever it is.