One of the news that made headlines last year is Facebook’s change of name to Meta (a short name for Metaverse).
Mark Zuckerberg is bullish about the metaverse and believes that is the next big thing in technology.
One of the significant discussions in the tech space is whether the metaverse is a realistic idea or not and how soon it can be implemented and commercialized.
Some don’t wish it ever becomes a thing, and some are earnestly waiting for it believing in the goods that it comes with.
In the 1980s, I doubt anyone knew that we would have these kinds of technologies we do have now – cell phones, drones, electric cars, to name a few.
We have come quite far and achieved a lot in the technology space within the shortest amount of time such that the metaverse technology is close to reality.
In the space of 12 months, we have had to evolve from just crypto coins to NFTs and now metaverse.
In this article, we answered some bothersome questions about the metaverse backed by statistics, and we also shared the current trends and state of the metaverse.
So, wondering if the metaverse will become a reality or not? Let the statistics be your guide!
What does Metaverse mean?
Metaverse is from two words – meta and universe. Meta means “beyond,” and Universe refers to time, matter, and space.
When we string these definitions together, Metaverse means beyond matter and space; this is just the layman’s definition.
According to Wikipedia, Metaverse is a network of 3D virtual worlds focused on social networks.
The term “Metaverse” was coined by the sci-fi writer Neal Stephenson to describe the 3D virtual space in 1992.
Neal wouldn’t have thought that metaverse would have become a billion-dollar industry with trillion-dollar companies investing into making it a reality.
Metaverse is just like an advancement of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies.
The plan is to create a virtual world where people can communicate and socialize such that it’ll be no different from reality.
In the metaverse, you can host meetings with colleagues, you can attend classes, you can purchase properties in the metaverse (a virtual world), etc.
If you have watched some sci-fi movies in which there are virtual worlds, you’ll get a glimpse of what these tech billionaires are trying to create.
I know you have so many questions to ask already. Let’s get into the statistics, and we’ll cover some of the popular questions people are asking about the metaverse later in the article.
Key Metaverse Statistics and Trends
Facebook Rebrands as Meta
Mark Zuckerberg sees his social media company as the first to join the metaverse. Hence the change of name from Facebook to Meta.
With the metaverse becoming a reality, Meta will no longer be just a place to chat and make video calls.
According to Mark, you will not just be viewing content. You will be in it.
Facebook (now Meta) invested $10 billion into Metaverse
That represents how much has been spent by Meta’s Reality Lab section on gadgets and processes related to the metaverse.
The company has no doubt that the metaverse is a feasible venture.
Metaverse predicted to be an $8 trillion opportunity
Many have speculated the Metaverse to be a multi-trillion dollar industry.
Global investment banks Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs have even predicted the exact value of the concept.
Nevertheless, these are just predictions. Chances are, the value of the metaverse could be much higher.
Apple is investing in Metaverse.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has already bought the idea of the metaverse, saying “it is very interesting to us”
Cook also emphasized that the App Store has over 14,000 ARKit apps “which provide incredible augmented reality experiences for millions of people.”
Entertain (a Sports betting company) invests $133 Million into the metaverse.
This is coming as part of their plans to establish a global innovation lab focused on entertainment experiences in the Metaverse.
Specifically, the company intends to fund start-ups and develop non-fungible tokens (NFTs) applications.
This stat is not surprising as many of the top companies sponsoring the metaverse idea base in the US.
On top of that, many US adults are gamers, so the metaverse idea would indeed hold a lot of appeal for them.
What are the Applications of Metaverse?
As a significant aspect of human living, education will receive an unprecedented upgrade when the metaverse idea comes to life.
Imagine how it will be like when instead of reading a dull note or textbook about a living cell, you are taking a guided virtual tour of the enclosure itself!
Suddenly details that were formerly microscopic are now enlarged many times, and you are seeing every single component for the first time thanks to your VR headset!
Or maybe you’re a history person and then the battle of the Spanish Armada with England is virtually recreated and you are right in the midst of the battle as an eyewitness of something that happened many years ago!
Those are just two of the true-to-life educational scenarios that we could recreate to facilitate students’ learning.
Scientific studies have shown that learning is enhanced when visual elements are introduced. This is because what people see in real life sticks better than what they hear about or simply read.
At that time, teachers will not have to be physically around their students before practicals can be conducted.
Medical students, for instance, will be able to conduct surgeries while receiving training from expert doctors and surgeons in real-time.
Virtual Meetings and Conferences
Meeting one-on-one to interact and share ideas is often more satisfying and productive than simply making a call or texting.
Current virtual conferences are trying to bridge the gap of physical distance, but the metaverse claims that even this solution is primitive by comparison.
Very soon, it is claimed, people separated by distance will interact via their virtual avatars just as they would in real life.
Real-life surroundings and environments will simply have their virtual replica, and everything else will fall into place.
Business meetings, hangouts, dates, watching a movie, sitting with your friends on a bench in the park, just to name it, are just some of the alternate life experiences that we can look forward to.
While reading a blog post on this same topic, I stumbled on a picture of a soldier with a VR headset. Maybe visiting enemy territory via virtual reality.
The caption read “Microsoft Hololens 2 adapted for military usage”
According to the metaverse idea, the exact virtual replica of an enemy environment can be recreated for soldiers to study all the features of the place without any risk of losing lives.
The information obtained can then be used to launch a surprise attack on the enemy with minimum losses and maximum win on the good side.
Not only the military though. Firefighters, medical personnel, civil engineers name them can all benefit from the life-like remote training opportunities that the metaverse promises to open up.
It’s gaming that the metaverse pioneers probably had in mind before they realized that it could have applications in other areas.
Popular video games like Dream League soccer and racing games have already started incorporating basic elements of the metaverse idea by featuring human-like avatars in next to real-life environments and situations.
Although the implementation is still somewhat a dim resemblance of actual 3d virtual stuff.
The metaverse as gaming would have it will prove to be a gold mine.
Estimates already judge that over 3 billion people (almost half earth’s population) play video games.
That already means a lot of revenue from the gaming sector.
Now to think of the massive upgrade to gaming as you can now be living in virtual conditions with the gameplay happening all around you with you in the centre.
Suddenly, all recording means can no longer keep up with the flood of money generated. Maybe it won’t get to that point but hey, it will be mind-blowing.
What are the negative effects of the Metaverse?
Many are keen to see the metaverse become a reality. A lot of companies and individuals are investing a lot of money to see the idea towards its fruition.
In fact, for many, it’s their vision of a better world.
On one side of the coin, the metaverse will indeed accomplish a lot.
Talk about opening up opportunities and prospects that are just as dreamy as the metaverse itself now.
On the flip side, however, the metaverse is another human invention—albeit a very dramatic one and for sure it won’t be without its issues
Keep in mind that it represents an effort by humans to stretch the boundaries of their physical limitations even more—a quest for more freedom—something that has proven to be more and more like a pandora’s box.
Of course, the biggest issue that the metaverse will present is how to manage it effectively to (1) minimize its use by the wrong people and (2) minimize the dangers that will result from whichever way it will be used.
Here are some possible issues when you narrow down the two big issues presented above:
Yes, is the metaverse feasible? Unfortunately, a project of its size and magnitude is often a victim of a shocking lack of hardware and software resources.
Even when the resources are there, computational advancement and efficiency are career things to look into.
Achieving something that right now, exists for the most part in sci-fi will probably require technology that is hundreds if not thousands of times more advanced than the best we are right now.
For that, you only have to look at the chip supply issues that all phone manufacturers have suffered from last year to date to imagine how hard it will be to gather the resources for a project that vast.
Also, don’t overlook the fact that a project like this would carry a lot of potential glory to any organization that manages to fulfill all its requirements first.
Cooperation might break down and it would become more like competition or an effort by someone to gain a monopoly of the whole process.
Another thing is that setting the standards for its governance wouldn’t be a child’s play.
Various metrics have to take into account, and meetings upon meetings will have to be held by world leaders to ascertain safe standards and ethics.
Even at that, nobody knows everything about the form of the metavers,e and that in itself poses even more issues.
You only need to look at how information companies like Google and Meta (formerly Facebook) gather about us to understand the privacy issues we will face with the metaverse.
If they can collect that level of information about us right when our online interaction with others is limited, think of how much they and other companies will need to draw about us to create our virtual replicas.
Problems like the mishandling of information and loss of privacy will likely infiltrate the metaverse space as well, just as they are doing right now, albeit only on a larger scale.
Addiction and Wrong Use of Social Media
Video games, one of the metaverse’s main focuses, are already hooking many youths and adults alike in their addictive grip.
In many countries, it is undeniable that many youths spend more time playing video games than talking with their parents and friends.
The effects become even more pronounced when people use them as an escape route into some dreamland.
That’s why it’s not surprising that many suffer from health and social issues linked to addiction and th,at can only see an exponential increase when VR takes over the world.
In the long run, instead of bringing people closer to each other as intended,inappropriateg use of this platform (metaverse) might alienate them even more.
And of course, the wrong use of social platforms hasn’t been successfully combated yet.
Reports of people, especially women and young children being harassed over social media are no longer August visitors.
Hence, we can only expect these crimes to escalate once the metaverse is finally birthed.
The bad thing is that these attacks will be even more traumatic for the victims as they will almost be as real as life.
Or to express it in this quote from one psychologist:
“There’s a potency about being immersed in a world that is different than observing and interacting…through a flat-screen monitor,” Rizzo says. “Once you’re embodied in a space, even though you can’t be physically touched, we can be exposed to things that take on a level of realism that could be psychologically assaulting.”
There is still another danger that comes with virtual reality.
The technology comes with the freedom to create a digital version of yourself that looks different from the real you.
This issue can pose a problem to teenagers and youths alike who are often very self-conscious or worried about their body image.
FAQs about the Metaverse
The metaverse is still quite a long way off.
At least until enough resources have been gathered and technological advances made.
There is still so much that is yet to be known about how the metaverse will operate or even how it will be governed.
Even the individuals and companies sponsoring the idea are not nearly close to solving all the puzzles associated with the concept.
But that doesn’t mean we aren’t curious to know a thing or two about the metaverse.
At least, we want to be ready for when it comes.
So let’s get answers to the questions that can be answered now while we wait for more details.
#1. How Many Users does Metaverse have?
#2. Will the Metaverse replace Reality?
No, the metaverse isn’t replacing reality. It cannot operate without people and the necessary machinery which are of course real entities.
Besides, no matter how sophisticated the metaverse gets, the characters in it will still be digital.
It’s not as if you are present physically. You are only enjoying life-like illusions that vanish once the VR glasses and other supporting machinery are turned off.
Physical interaction is still absent and nothing can replace being in a place or being with someone in person.
For example, you can’t physically hug a person in the metaverse. It’s just digital illusions that are being created.
Nevertheless, the metaverse will be of great use in ways that we might not even be able to conjure now.
In summary, it is best to think of the metaverse as an extension of and a fusion of reality.
Or as twins.
#3. Can the metaverse fail?
The metaverse is not a solo project. It will take all the supporting organizations joining forces for it to succeed.
Chances of failure look slim especially when you consider the excitement of the major tech companies over it and the huge amount of funds they’ve contributed to its actualization
#4. Is the metaverse good for humanity?
Like every other creation whether natural or man-made, the metaverse will surely have its place in humanity depending on how it is used.
The metaverse is man’s latest strategy for taking social and gaming interactions to the next level.
As such, no one can argue that there is much good in the metaverse.
Barring the danger of misuse by bad-intentioned people—a danger that exists even in real life—the metaverse seems a very good initiative.
#5. Is metaverse the next big thing?
If you ask the likes of Facebook, Microsoft, Apple etc the answer is yes.
In Mark Zuckerberg’s words:
“You can kind of think about [the metaverse] as an embodied internet, where instead of just viewing content — you are in it. And you feel present with other people as if you were in other places, having different experiences that you couldn’t necessarily do on a 2D app or webpage, like dancing, for example, or different types of fitness.”
In addition, understanding what the bulk of technological advancement is all about will answer the question of the metaverse being the next big thing.
Almost all the progress made in technology is about just one thing: connection.
That’s how the internet and all the gadgets we’ve come to love came about.
Connecting people with information was what the earliest version of the internet helped achieve. This version is dubbed internet 1.0
The next big thing came in the form of internet 2.0 and this time people could now be connected with people.
The various conference and meeting apps plus the social media platforms as well are what make up this version of the internet that we are currently using.
So, what can we expect to be the next giant leap forward in communication and connection?
A version of the internet that combines the first two, connecting people and information, people and people, and finally…
People, information, places, and things via virtual reality.
The metaverse, if it comes to life, will represent man’s boldest and most ingenious method yet to overcome the distance barrier via life-like 3d virtual interaction with people, places and thing
The concept is projected to become a multi-trillion industry very soon.
Amidst all the hype though, there are concerns that the problems afflicting current social media interactions will simply be worsened once things get more real via the metaverse.
Nevertheless, it will be best to wait and see what the future holds for this venture.
Whatever it is, I’m optimistic about its development and its benefits as long as the necessary checks are in place to prevent or at least minimize misuse of it.