Where Has the Metaverse Gone?
A few months ago, a trend was forming and it was becoming nearly impossible to avoid mention of the metaverse.
You couldn’t scroll through social media without seeing yet another post about Mark Zuckerburg’s latest antics and, for a while, the metaverse was all the rage in industry conversations.
Due to its growing popularity and the rapid surge of consumer attention, experts and employees alike were all poised on the edge of their seats.
We all began to wonder whether we were on the brink of a technological revolution. Were you with us in starting to buy into the hype?
Were we on the brink of a technology revolution?
Regardless of your personal feelings about the metaverse, there’s something you have to acknowledge.
Just three short months ago, it really felt like humanity was only moments away from unlocking the power of the metaverse.
Unlimited potential was within arm’s reach.
The latest advancements in Web3 promised to transform our digital environments forever, and new blockchain technologies were being produced at an astronomical rate.
This gave us false hope.
Not only were thought leaders starting to weigh in about the possibility of the metaverse going mainstream… others were getting excited, too.
Businesses wanted to rewrite their “immersive customer experiences”.
Venture Capitalists were opening their wallets and regularly signing deals.
Governments were preparing to adopt the metaverse for themselves.
Suddenly, though, this all came crashing down. The media storm not only passed, but it left damage and destruction in its wake.
The change in the metaverse conversations
Today, reporters (if they’re covering the metaverse at all) are only being negative with their publicity.
As a result, once eager investors have been forced to withdraw their funds and direct money elsewhere.
Even community forums (filled with loyal and passionate early adopters) have changed their tune.
It’s a bizarre phenomenon, but not one without good cause.
What happened to “kill” the metaverse?
Mark Zuckerburg, one of the world’s biggest champions for the metaverse, sunk his business into the ground.
Once others realised what had happened, the reception was not kind.
“What a difference a year makes.” proclaimed the Guardian shamefully.
“He’s tone deaf to what others want, outside of himself,” cursed David Katz.
“Visions of the metaverse are fading due to dead-eyed dead ends,” wrote Entrepreneur.
It was a bloodbath, one that is only just starting to fade. It’s understandable, though, why people were so passionate in their criticism.
Meta laid off 11,000 people – 13% of its workforce.
Poor third-quarter results saw the organisation’s share price drop by 25%, wiping $80bn off the company’s value.
Reality Labs lost $3.7bn in the past three months, with worse expected to come.
What does this mean for the metaverse?
When one of the main drivers of the metaverse failed so drastically after facing its first set of challenges, confidence in the market dropped significantly.
In fact, an October 2022 Wall Street report revealed that Meta’s actions cost the industry $700 million in stock value decreases.
This was only further accentuated by the advice of a Senior Equity Analyst at CFRA Research, who stated that "investors should remain on the sidelines as it will take many years before progress in the metaverse can be truly monetized”.
The combination of these two blows has resulted in a potentially unredeemable situation where both money and resources - including talent - have been drawn away from the metaverse.
Will the metaverse recover?
While it’s too early to speculate whether or not the metaverse will recover, it’s our opinion that it’s going to bounce back.
We’re not the only ones.
Although uncertainty is high right now, there are still enough passionate innovators acting as champions for the metaverse.
These individuals will continue working behind the scenes to bring their vision to life.
Amongst them, even the “disgraced” Mark Zuckerburg doesn’t have plans to step off his current roadmap with Meta, stating:
“Given some of the product and business constraints we face now, I feel even more strongly now that developing these (metaverse) platforms will unlock hundreds of billions of dollars, if not trillions, over time.
This is obviously a very expensive undertaking over the next several years, but as the metaverse becomes more important in every part of how we live, I’m confident we’re going to be glad that we played an important role in building this.”
How can we not remain positive, then, that the best is still to come?
How to prepare for the metaverse
While recent occurrences might mean the realisation of the metaverse is still a way off… that doesn’t mean you can’t get ahead.
Much like with the arrival of blockchain technologies, it might benefit you to start considering your future adoption strategy.
This way, you’ll be ready no matter what comes your way.
If you’re someone who foresees the metaverse as not only an exciting venture for your company but a profitable one, start recruiting specialist talent today.
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