The term “metaverse” is being thrown around a lot lately.
Self proclaimed experts dub themselves the next coming of the “metaverse”.
And brands jump to include “metaverse” in their 2022 branding.
But, I’d like to let you in on a secret: not only do most people not really know what it means, even myself, a chief executive at an organization quite literally dedicated to the publication and innovation of immersive technologies, have no idea what it truly means.
Of course, I’ve read Neal Stephenson 1992 novel Snow Crash, in which the term was first coined. I’ve studied in depth the 2006 release of Second Life, one of the first online virtual worlds. And spoken to numerous researchers through AIXR’s Field of View podcast in which we interview specialists on important subject matters such as the “metaverse.”
….when I come across a new Linkedin connection with the title of Chief Metaverse Officer, I find myself with a puzzled look on my face, attempting to work out what exactly it is that this person does?
This bothered me so much that I even instructed my membership team to survey our Academy Members, and ask them finally for a definitive definition for the word metaverse.
Every single response came back vastly different.
And therein lies the problem:
You have legitimate experts, working day in day out on their products who will be quick to tell you that right now we’re working with little more than a concept – but caught up in the middle of a frenzy, marketing departments are now being forced to co-opt the term as a buzzword, with little regard for its actual meaning.
And as a result, many people now see the word metaverse as nothing more than a buzzword itself, or mistake it to be a just synonym for the internet.
I’ll also even be the first one to say AIXR has not been immune to its effects either, seeing a click through rates 2x-4x higher for content that includes the term “Metaverse”.
This trend has led to the rise of the Chief Metaverse Officer, a position that in most cases is little more than a marketing gimmick, mostly responsible for developing marketing strategies and plans that incorporate social media platforms with a combination of additional buzzwords such as Blockchain, NFTs, and of course 5G into their overall marketing mix.
While there is nothing wrong with using these terms and social media for marketing purposes, companies need to be careful not to overuse or else they risk becoming irrelevant.
The term metaverse should not be used as a crutch to make up for a lack of real innovation.
So, what actually is the metaverse then?
There is no one definitive answer to this question. The metaverse is an amorphous, intangible concept that refers to a future digital world in which people interact and engage in activities. It is a world that exists beyond our current reality, and one that is constantly evolving.
At its core, the metaverse represents a new way of thinking about the digital world. It is a world where people can come together and interact in ways that we cannot even imagine today.
The concept is so large and vast, that as such:
- Companies should be looking at their existing teams, and asking themselves, how do I upskill and train my entire company to prepare and embrace for this new technology, rather than appointing a single person for a glorified marketing gimmick.
…while the term metaverse may be difficult to define, it is easy to understand the concept behind it. And it is this concept that we should be focusing on, rather than the term itself.
Foto: AI Generated Rendering of a Metaverse City – AIXR