The metaverse explained…
There’s no official definition that yet exists for the metaverse, but there are companies out there that are poised and ready to see it fully evolve so they can start experimenting and investing in it.
The metaverse is one of the most awaited internet inventions of this decade that will not only change the way we are entertained, but also how we socialise, learn, and even work.
Although you may have heard the metaverse mentioned in the news recently, that’s where most people’s understanding of it ends. To help, we thought we’d try and answer some simple questions to help give a little more insight into what it is exactly, and what it could mean for businesses now and in the future.
What is the metaverse?
In late 2021, Facebook announced that it was re-branding itself as Meta in reference to the ‘metaverse’ and has since set out plans to hire 10,000 of the brightest and best, as well as a commitment to invest $10bn to build the business.
The metaverse is a concept for a 3D version of the internet that a number of companies are continually developing. It combines social media with virtual and augmented reality and is said to be the next evolution of social connection – and it’s their aim to bring it to life.
We’re not talking about viewing a 3D picture or watching a video here, it’s an immersive experience. Instead of watching a video, you’re inside it, you can even walk around it. The metaverse will be a network of inter-connected 3D worlds that will have what’s called ‘an individual sense of presence’ and ‘continuity of data’. You’ll have your own avatar that will be able to walk down the road and spend virtual money in a shop or a with a friend in a virtual restaurant.
What can you do in the metaverse?
According to advocates of the metaverse, their simple answer would be – almost anything! The future possibilities of the metaverse are presumably limitless. It will allow you to create a complete digital life where you’ll be able to socialise, work, learn, go shopping and be entertained.
You will also be able to create wealth in the metaverse. As well as selling services, you’ll be able to build wealth by ‘owning and trading property’. So yes, we will one day read a story about a teenage millionaire who has never left his bedroom in real life – but who owns virtual property worth millions!
The metaverse allows users to interact with products in a way that is impossible via e-commerce or online stores. To put this in to some perspective, your avatar could enter a virtual shop, walk through the aisles, try out products, and make payments directly in cryptocurrency.
How will it impact businesses?
We saw the pandemic present major challenges to businesses, and the need to adapt quickly was crucial. Meetings had to be conducted via web conferencing apps, which led to some people finding virtual meetings not as engaging as face-to-face meetings. The metaverse seeks to change that, as remote and hybrid working now becomes more of the ‘norm’ for most companies.
Meta’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, presented his vision for the metaverse for business and included everything from, the ability to make eye contact in digital meeting spaces, reflecting facial expressions and skin tone through your avatar via facial sensors, all within a headset that would be comfortable to wear for long periods of time.
In a broader business sense, we asked our Financial Planner, Jack Farmer, for his views on the metaverse from an investing perspective.
‘‘If the metaverse market grows, then we will likely see growth in the profits and share prices of those companies that are developing it, such as Meta, NVIDIA, Microsoft, and Apple etc. These companies will possibly make up an even greater share of the global market in years to come, more than they even do so already. From the 31 December 2020, Apple’s total market value was £1,651b which alone, is greater than the German and Italian stock market combined, emphasising the sheer size of these companies.
We don’t have a crystal ball, so it’s impossible to pick the winners of tomorrow. If you look at the top 10 companies in the world today, it’s largely different to the top 10 companies in the world in the 1980’s.
Investing with a global exposure across thousands of companies helps to provide sustainable returns in the long term, meaning you capture returns from most countries and sectors. Whilst the metaverse sounds exciting, remaining disciplined with your investment decisions, sticking to a well-diversified and robust portfolio, and not giving into the fear of missing out will help to ensure that you have a greater investment experience.’’
The metaverse is still some way off…
So, who knows, this could mean our financial advisers will one day be able to see clients virtually in their virtual offices staffed with avatars.
However, the metaverse is still some way off! In the meantime, the team here at Wealth Experts, are here (in person), waiting to help and discuss your financial requirements face to face. Our focus is more than your finances. It’s your future.