The idea of Metaverse stormed the media and professional communities, promising unclear things and a digital future no one had enough understanding about.
Despite the recent discussions around this concept, Metaverse is not something new and is not something that has been invented by Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Meta. So, let’s start from there.
In 2021, Zuckerberg announced the decision of his team to make a Facebook transformation into a new type of company, called Meta. In the meantime, he promised that very soon, users will be communicating differently, purchasing and interacting differently.
How differently – he didn’t clarify. Even after those vague statements, the whole business environment started thinking of a plan to jump into this game sooner than any of its competitors. They jumped but the game hadn’t started yet.
There were several attempts to build a metaverse world back in the 1990s. One of the famous projects was The Second Life, where users were living in metaverse worlds, organizing events and sometimes insulting each other, forgetting that there were people behind those avatars.
These unsuccessful attempts left the Metaverse projects in the archive of history until one day Zuckerberg decided to go through that archive and give a second life to a tech project that had already failed once.
After 2 years of investments that Zuckerberg could bring from different businesses and Wall Street investors, Metaverse is struggling in the shadows, and not many people remember it.
Probably mostly the investors. This scenario was a little unexpected because Metaverse seemed to be the next big tech innovation after cryptocurrencies, but unlike digital money, the digital world is falling apart. What and why did go wrong, and what’s next for the Metaverse? Let’s analyze it together.
The Success of Bitcoin Wasn’t Meant to Be the Success of the Metaverse
Before these rumors about Metaverse, one of the biggest tech innovations was cryptocurrencies with their blockchain technology. The most popular crypto – Bitcoin, succeeded in breaking into many industries, becoming a good alternative to traditional money.
Metaverse, on the other hand, could vastly benefit from cryptocurrencies, allowing people to purchase digital items with crypto. And people were waiting for that day since cryptocurrencies would become the central part of virtual worlds.
Despite usual personal communication, Metaverse is a world for users to interact with gamified experiences, and it’s not a secret that this platform could become a treasure for gaming companies where they would be able to offer games with crypto payments.
The last decade was fruitful for especially the gambling industry which took advantage of cryptocurrencies and introduced whole new online casino platforms.
Today, hundreds of Bitcoin table games are being played by people around the world who don’t feel the limitations of traditional payment methods. Supposedly, these games could succeed in Metaverse as well, gaining huge revenues and players.
Life showed that the success of cryptocurrencies as digital innovations didn’t work for the Metaverse project. The idea of cryptocurrencies was clear from the very beginning: It’s the alternative option for federal currencies and offer more security layers using blockchain technology.
It also declines additional costs during transactions, related to third parties. However, people didn’t buy the idea of Metaverse: Why would they hide behind avatars, when they can just show their real photos? It’s an impression that instead of making the digital life more immersive, Zuckerberg was trying to make that severance even deeper.
Gamers Do Not Like the Metaverse?
Imagine a sports clothing brand that is not respected by athletes, because of its quality, prices, etc. Metaverse is all about gaming and gamified reality, and if gamers and gaming companies do not like it, then everything is finished. That’s all.
Unfortunately, Metaverse has lots of glitches and problems that make gamers avoid it, and the tendencies show that they do not really get along with this digital world due to some technical issues, inconvenience, and the unpromising future.
The biggest failure of Metaverse is the lack of users, who were supposed to play games, purchase digital items, attend paid and free events, etc. Hence, there is a situation where different companies spend millions of dollars buying digital lands and avenues in Metaverse, but people feel comfortable with Instagram Reels and the transformation of Twitter into X.
It’s hard to predict what’s next for Metaverse, but the impression that remains for a while is that it’s dying silently, behind the scenes.
Chances to Fix the Situation
… Are very low. Several developments in the world of technology make us think that Metaverse will not reincarnate, and this will be one of the biggest confusions in the history of investments. Let’s talk about two of the current advancements that take us in a direction other than Metaverse.
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
Generative AI appeared all of a sudden and took the place of Metaverse, while it was struggling to explain its mission and vision. In a short period of time, Chat GPT gained a recording number of users – 100 million people worldwide.
This success showed what we wanted and what was really useful for individuals and businesses. Currently, many big companies invest in generative AI, with Microsoft integrating it into their search engine and Google introducing its similar platform, Bard.
There are also rumors that Apple is working on its own AI platform, which will enhance the abilities of Siri, the virtual assistant of Apple users.
Virtual Reality is the next phase of tech advancements and is supposed to bring revolutionary changes in users’ daily communication and working environments. But this is not the virtual reality Zuckerberg had in his mind.
This year, Apple introduced its Visual Pro computers unveiling the future of communication. While Metaverse was trying to build an immersive reality by creating avatars and cartoonish communication, Apple Vision Pro and similar headsets are coming to bring the virtual and real-life closer, even allowing users to work in a fully digital environment.
Although opinions about the aforementioned headsets vary regarding their usefulness, at least, we know what’s waiting for us, and at least, we receive less vague and less unpredictable statements. Meanwhile, Mark Zuckerberg has stopped talking about Metaverse, as if it never happened.