Big tech is betting big on the metaverse, pumping millions into the fully realized 3D virtual world rendered in real-time. Instead of staring at your screen, this next iteration of social media will let you climb into it to experience everyday life digitally, including shopping, attending a concert and socializing with friends.
Meta (Facebook), Niantic, SoftBank, Apple, and more tech giants are racing to build and dominate the metaverse, whose market may reach $783.3 billion in 2024 according to a Bloomberg study with data from Newzoo, IDC, PWC, Statista and Two Circles. The entire metaverse could reach 2.7 times that of gaming software, services and advertising revenue according to that same study.
How do influencers fit into this mixed-reality future? IZEA’s latest report reveals influencers are early adopters of virtual worlds, with 56 percent of them saying they currently participate in the metaverse.
IZEA surveyed over 1,000 US internet users aged 18 to 60-plus in mid-November of last year to understand sentiment around the metaverse from influencers, social media users and consumers, which in the case of IZEA’s research includes those who don’t regularly use social media.
Influencers and Social Media Users
Seventy-seven percent of influencers rated their understanding of the metaverse as somewhat or very good while 60 percent of social media users see themselves participating in the metaverse as creators. In addition, 72 percent of influencers said they’re considering or are already making money in the metaverse.
Eighty-five percent of all influencers said they’ve played virtual world games like Minecraft and Fortnite. Seventy-three of those who play virtual world games said they’ve seen ads or sponsorships inside a virtual world, and 42.2 percent remember the brand. Influencers named Google, Chipotle, Marvel, Coca-Cola, Clorox and Nike, among others, as some of the brands they’ve seen in the metaverse.
Influencers are dialed into emerging tech and media and 70 percent of them believe the metaverse will replace social media in 50 years. Influencers, then, provide brands with an authentic and effective way to reach consumers who also are immersed in new digital landscapes.
When asked what activity they’re most interested in doing in the metaverse, more influencers than consumers said they’re interested in creating media and making purchases. With this, brands can leverage influencers to create an experience around their product or service, have them wear or use branded objects, co-create NFTs and host virtual parties or concerts.
Of the consumers surveyed who already own virtual reality (VR) devices, 50 percent own a PlayStation VR and 48 percent own an Oculus (Meta) Quest 2, according to IZEA. Consumers cited Apple and Amazon—above Facebook, Microsoft and Sony—as the brands they think will build the most compelling VR experiences of the future.
Sixty-six percent of consumers looking to join the metaverse expect to buy a VR device in the next three years. Top activities they plan to participate in include gaming (68 percent), exercising (53 percent) and watching media (48 percent).
For 20 percent though, the price of VR technology is holding them back from joining the metaverse while 12 percent are waiting for VR tech to improve.