The Metaverse is the newest topic to interest the curiosity of the tech market. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently announced that his company would rebrand as Meta Platforms Inc., or simply Meta, indicating an interest in pursuing the internet’s uncertain future.
The hypothetical metaverse does not yet exist, at least not in the expansive sense that Zuckerberg imagines it, but the footholds do. The most important components are virtual and augmented reality, with the former gaining prominence following Facebook’s acquisition of Oculus in 2014.
Zuckerberg appears to be all-in on the metaverse, believing that it would not only alter the web as we know it but will also play a significant role in the digital world. Crypto and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have already seen a massive rise in popularity, and both are destined to integrate into the metaverse.
According to the CEO of Meta Platforms, the internet’s future is still five to ten years away. Content makers, on the other hand, can already begin to envisage how the metaverse will affect them based on what we now know.
What is Metaverse?
In his 1992 novel Snow Crash, writer Neal Stephenson invented the word “metaverse.” Virtual avatars interact in three-dimensional buildings and settings in the book.
Companies like Microsoft and Meta have worked hard since then to integrate the metaverse into the real world. Zuckerberg described the metaverse as a “virtual space” that individuals can actually visit and control during his recent Facebook Connect address. You can go inside the internet instead of staring at it on your laptop screen.
It aspires to be a hub of intertwined virtual communities where people can meet, socialize, shop, work, watch concerts, attend sporting events, and more—all using a combination of virtual reality headsets, augmented reality glasses, and other devices.
The metaverse aspires to be a doppelgänger world in which people’s virtual lives mirror their physical ones. To elaborate, the proposed concept includes the following components:
The proposed metaverse’s most basic feature is a place where people, represented by virtual avatars, can navigate a virtual environment realistically. Consider how a photo, video, or username on the web, social media, or Zoom meetings represents us.
A 3D version of ourselves may walk, talk, and interact with a virtual environment and other metaverse users in the metaverse. The concept of an avatar isn’t new, but recent advances in virtual reality have demonstrated how detailed an avatar can be.
VRChat, a popular virtual reality game, is an excellent example of how metaverse “characters” could interact. People take on the role of their avatar in the game. They gaze with their eyes, move about the environment with their hands, and, of course, connect with other users.
The metaverse, in its ideal state, would be a single universe in which every user exists. This is similar to the idea of the metaverse being a “doppelgänger universe,” in which the virtual world closely resembles the real world. People might collect property and items in the “one” metaverse, just as they could in real life, and their virtual existence would last between sessions.
That may be one of the most difficult obstacles for the idealized metaverse to overcome. Users are unavoidably distributed over different servers in all of the games that approximate a metaverse.
The invention, ownership, and trade of virtual products are perhaps the most exciting part of the proposed metaverse. This is something that will have a direct impact on content providers looking for new revenue streams in the metaverse.
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have grown in popularity recently. NFTs are minted and kept on the blockchain as one-of-a-kind digital assets. They are decentralized and autonomous from any controlling body.
When someone purchases an NFT, they are designated as the asset’s owner. These assets are readily exchangeable. The most popular kind of art today is digital art. An NFT, on the other hand, can be anything from music to photographs to video footage to website domain names.
As the metaverse expands in the future years, this type of digital trading is unlikely to fade away. In the early phases of the metaverse, it’s extremely likely that NFTs will be the primary means of selling art and commerce – at least until something better emerges.
Because it is still too early to predict, there are several issues that could occur. It’s difficult to predict if today’s freely trading NFTs will remain decentralized in the metaverse.
Regrettably, it appears that the envisioned metaverse will not exist as a single entity, but rather as a collection of big metaverses operated by several industries.
It’s unclear whether NFTs acquired in Microsoft’s metaverse will be transferred to Meta’s — at least not without some form of financial penalty — as these companies become more interested in what’s going on on their servers.
Photographers and creators will eventually be able to monetize their work through the metaverse. As with “normal” NFTs, the sheer novelty of this will undoubtedly draw purchasers. In the metaverse, artists can mint their work, display it in virtual galleries, and sell it to other people.
In reality, there is already a world-first version of this. Legion Network, a cryptocurrency and blockchain technology pioneer, has announced the debut of their Bluemoon NFT Marketplace.
Bluemoon is a virtual and augmented reality-enabled collaborative NFT exchange. Users will soon be able to browse virtual NFT galleries and communicate with other buyers and merchants in one part of the metaverse.
Bluemoon is a truly innovative company. It’s unlikely, though, to entice anyone who is still dubious of Bitcoin and NFTs. Creators who haven’t started producing NFTs are unlikely to feel compelled to do so simply because Bluemoon has started.
If Zuckerberg’s goals are met, the metaverse may become an integral component of everyone’s online presence. Former skeptics could become potential purchasers if NFTs, as they exist in the metaverse, become widespread.
If that’s the case, creating art and content for the metaverse in any form – photography, videography, music, or anything else — will very certainly become a sustainable source of income for creatives.