The Metaverse has been an incredibly hot topic in recent months. Understanding and acknowledgement of its wider effect was slow to come at first, but Facebook’s name change was not merely coincidental – it was an emblematic of industry-wide recognition of the concept. To wit, Facebook/Meta was just the beginning: others are quickly following suit, and it remains to be seen who the biggest players in the metaverse will be going forward. Collins dictionary has designated the term as one of the most important words of 2021, solidifying its importance. But the question remains: what exactly is this Metaverse, and what does it mean for media’s future?
Understanding a little more about the Metaverse concept
The Metaverse is an updated iteration of the Internet that attempts to approach reality and true in-person interaction. The concept centers around a fully accessible VR environment, where people meet, work, play, etc., all in real time. In its ultimate form, this interface can be accessed even through mobile devices. Picture the world at your fingertips, even from the couch: travel, concerts, shopping, all possible to experience in person. But what makes this more than just a user experience gimmick? And what opportunities does such a concept give to the future of media?
Media opportunities in the Metaverse
In unsurprising news, media-centric companies are already familiar with the Metaverse concept and taking advantage of the advantages it presents. For example, El Economista has already launched a correspondent’s office in the Metaverse to report from this virtual space and give easier access to new regions. Even entities as big as Reuteres and the BBC are starting to claim footholds in the Metaverse.
But creating new channels or alternative forms of consumption is thinking too small. The Metaverse has the potential to spawn a whole new category of fully-integrated media. Take news consumption, for example: a user in the Metaverse could read a newspaper, immediately share it with others, and acquire uniquely viable access to the stories themselves from the same place: 3D images, live access to the subject’s location, etc., all without leaving their home.
Looking ahead to 2022
If 2020 and 2021 have been marked by high levels of digital migration, 2022 will be the year of implementation and innovation in the digital space. Changes are consolidating little by little, and people are rapidly adopting new forms of communication, entertainment, and relationships with others. The Metaverse is therefore a safe bet to be coming right behind. Ergo, it is of the utmost importance for companies to embrace the possibilities and opportunities it presents – and not just in media, but across every industry.