By Rahi Chadda
The Metaverse is said to be the next evolution within the internet which our current generation shall witness. A virtual reality which imitates our physical world. For some it might just come as an immersive experience while for others it shall dictate the next step of their expansion on social media and work environments. For digital influencers, the metaverse shall provide a space where they can interact with their audience and other creators, as well as sharing experiences together.
For some people, a day in the future of the metaverse might be difficult to imagine, but from my extensive reading into this subject, it sounds nothing short of a futuristic vision. Users can teleport from one location to another within the metaverse. If you are tired of the cold mornings in London, why not take a quick trip to St. Tropez, or even better – beat the heat by recharging your digital twin under the Caribbean sun. Enjoying virtual festivals around the world and partying with other fellow creators. A forerunner of Metaverse is a 3D virtual reality called Decentraland, which is built on a decentralised Ethereum cryptocurrency, where users can buy land, organise exhibitions and shows and engage in commercial activities, such as real estate. Fashion houses such as Etro and Dolce and Gabbana recently hosted their first metaverse fashion show for Decentraland Fashion Week. The space is already expanding in its fashion district and soon we are sure to see an influx of creators joining too. A space which enables users to navigate between the physical and virtual realms.
The metaverse has also begun posting job opportunities. I earlier read an article where an offer was shown available for a Metaverse user to work at a digital casino on a monthly payroll with payments to be made in cryptocurrency format. Creators will soon be receiving content opportunities that help advertise brand’s metaverse launches and also build trust and recognition about the metaverse to the creator’s existing audience.
Gucci recently sold its digital bags on the Metaverse, the owner of which had been certified by NFT. The bags were sold in excess of $4000 each. It’s undeniable that there is a market and audience for this virtual space. RTFKT, a platform which secures ownership through NFTs sold over $3 million worth of digital shoes within 10 minutes, earlier this year. Therefore, with billions of dollars being invested within the metaverse, there appears to be ample room for marketing and adequate funding for companies to make that transition within the virtual space. The metaverse works as an effective tool for companies to fill their advertising and promotional activities in a virtual room and users, hence, receive constant targeted advertising.
The Metaverse appears to carry the potential to change the landscape of social media. Mark Zuckerberg (CEO & Founder of Facebook) also revealed his intention of becoming a “metaverse company”. Brands will have access to advertise on a whole new scale, with digital avatars showcasing trends and with Decentraland becoming an influencer HQ, the virtual city will act as a channel for influencers to make the transition more comfortably into the Metaverse, as they are familiarised with the brands within the district, already. Essentially, it is merely a virtual leap-of-faith, which is left to be made.
For established influencers, the metaverse appears to be an opportunity to evolve on their digital journey alongside their new digital twin, where they can partner and further cultivate their already existing relationships with brands while interacting and communicating with their peers. For others, it gives them a new opportunity to build a fresh audience in a new digital space, which one can argue is less saturated. Many Gen-Z’s and millennials do not differentiate between the real and digital world. Social media and the internet are an integral part of their real world and that makes them the perfect candidate to target for the metaverse.
Brands have also begun creating their own virtual influencers, also known as the meta-fluencer. A strategic idea which gives brands scope to have their own representatives/ambassadors who can connect with users. Virtual influencers also appear to cost less money than regular influencers when it comes to advertising and provide them complete autonomy in how they would like for the virtual influencer to communicate a brand’s viewpoint on current affairs, such as diversity, inclusivity and sustainability. The brand also has access to deploy the influencer to different places at once. This marks a shift in the current advertising methods but also an opportunity to gain accessibility to a whole new consumer with different preferences. Does this mean that with the birth of the Metaverse the opportunities would be endless?
The author is founder, Panache and Marina