The use of Facebook and Instagram is in steady decline among younger users, but Meta may not find it any easier to build an audience on its new VR bet. A recent Generation Z research report by Piper Sandler (thanks, Fast Company) said that 50% of teens surveyed are unsure about “the metaverse” or have no interest in and don’t plan on buying a VR headset.
26% of teens own a VR device, according to the survey, but only 5% use it daily, while 48% of headset owners “rarely” use it. Of teens who don’t own a VR headset, only 9% are actively planning to buy one.
However, 68% of teens surveyed identified as gamers. Meta may be banking on the belief that players can become metaversers with a little nudge towards Horizon Worlds, which launched as a gaming and social VR platform in December.
The Piper Sandler survey also reveals that 87% of teenagers have heard of cryptocurrency and 11% say they have participated in a transaction. More than 7,000 teenagers from 44 states were part of the research group, and the average age was 16 years old.
(If you’re wondering who qualifies as Gen Z here, it’s someone born between 1997 and 2012. Millennials were born between 1980 and 1996.)
A different survey (which interviewed over 4,000 adults) by morning appointment shows that about half of Millennials and Gen Z adults say they are “interested or a little interested” in the metaverse, but show slightly less interest in Horizon Worlds and Horizon Workroom, Meta’s platform for meetings. business conducted in virtual reality.
Both researchers seem to be equating the metaverse and VR, although Fortnite and Roblox are often considered part of the “metaverse” and are not VR games. It’s a nebulous term.
Companies like Sony and Lego have recently invested billions in Epic’s metaverse geared towards children. However, it looks like Meta will have to do a better job of luring young people from the meat space to the virtual one.
Bonus Fact: The favorite snack of the surveyed teens was Goldfish cookies and their favorite clothing brand was Nike. It’s not relevant, but it’s always good to know what kids like.