Before we look at the biggest trends in the metaverse space, it’s important to understand – What exactly is the metaverse?
The term that signifies “beyond the universe” is just that – beyond the constraints and boundaries of the physical universe. Not only is it virtual, augmented reality, but it is also he next step for the digital world, the internet 3.0, which goes beyond the analog one in which we currently reside. It is a fully-realised digital world that delves into virtual environments, experiences and assets.
Think of the metaverse as an augmented version of a video game universe, where users can build their own world and function in it the way they would interact in the real world. The idea is to create a space similar to the internet but way more tangible, allowing your avatar to interact with and exist in the virtual society.
Unlike the internet, within a metaverse, users will experience socio-economic and environmental changes and shifts in real time as the users make changes and calls for action.
The metaverse space is touted to be a huge economical asset, as the next 5 to 10 years are said to be explosive in terms of implementing the metaverse.
Currently, we haven’t even scratched the surface of what the metaverse could look like but there have been glimpses of different aspects of the metaverse that will build a space for people to perform real jobs and earn real money, form real relations and build real products.
People consider the metaverse to be about living in a virtual existence, but it is actually an adaptive and functional way for the fictional worlds to join our reality.
One of the biggest trends that is already taking over the metaverse space is Cryptocurrencies and NFTs (Non-fungible tokens). Already more than a $10 billion market, 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 means the metaverse is free to be an open ecosystem, without being dominated or controlled by the whims of a company, institution, or entity. It signifies true ownership of digital property rights that can never be revoked without the permission or knowledge of the individual.
In the case of NFTs as collectibles, they are not limited to just buying art or digital prints but actually putting that art in your house through Augmented Reality. NFTs as digital assets have proven profitable as their treatment moves from hype to utility.
Most virtual games or environments being built in the metaverse are already selling their assets, avatars and all usable equipment as NFTs. The value of digital goods is increasing compared to their physical counterparts, for example, NFTs of tweets and avatars are valued higher than some high-priced paintings.
Another trend that is taking over the metaverse is the concept of DAOs which stands for Decentralised Autonomous Organisations. As mentioned earlier, the metaverse is an autonomous reality that is not controlled by a centralised entity, instead “internet 3.0” is entirely decentralised. DAOs are evolving day-by-day and with time, will give users more control over deciding what they want out of each digital platform, good or service.
Currently, all digital avatars, profiles and virtual augmentations are controlled by centralised decision-making organisations that can decide to take their platform away at any given time.
DAOs are the future of cultural communities, unstable governments, and public policies and structures. All transactions within DAOs are recorded and maintained on a blockchain.
The metaverse is expected to have a rapid impact on fast fashion and its adverse effect on the climate and the socio-economic sphere as well. The implications of wearing fast fashion items for a short period of time and discarding them is a growing concern for environmentalists. But the trend of digital clothing for avatars in the metaverse has the potential to change that.
The metaverse space will allow you to dress the way you want and present yourself in any manner to your peers and social environment. Moreover, because these digital goods need only be produced once and replicated thousands of times, they are more scalable and have the potential to be adopted by a large amount of users.
This helps the metaverse tailor the user experience to replicate an individual’s social life and physical sphere, transforming old experiences of making friends and interacting with the world in a new format.
Companies, brands and individuals who understand these trends and the online culture as it thrives in the metaverse, can create and build on their digital personas, content and expand into products that have the ability to leave their competitors behind. Adapting to the ever-transforming metaverse and embracing their digital transformation is the best opportunity to expand your brand.