The metaverse has been on everyone's lips for a few years now: How will the digital trend affect our communication in the future?
Experts still disagree on whether Metaverse is just a short hype or the next revolutionary step in the digital world – what role could the trend play in PR?
The idea of the metaverse
The metaverse is not an invention from Silicon Valley, but first appeared in 1992 in the novel “Snow Crash“ by Neil Stephenson. In contrast to modern efforts to portray the metaverse as a positive digital development, the original novel is a dystopian world dominated by crime and despair. Today, everyone is familiar with the “metaverse”, but a clear definition is often difficult to pin down. Basically, the idea describes a decentralised and immersive digital space. Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Meta (formerly Facebook), defines the platform as follows: “The Metaverse is an embodied internet where you’re in the experience, not just looking at it”. What is meant by this is an interactive space on the internet where users can co-determine and change the virtual world themselves.
The Metaverse today
Even though the metaverse is still in its infancy, there are already companies that stand out as pioneers. Meta, formerly Facebook, will come to mind for most, but companies like Nike with its virtual sneaker designs and Shopify with its own metaverse stores are also big proponents of the metaverse.
But it’s not just big tech and finance companies that have recognised the potential. One of the most advanced metaverse attempts has emerged from the online multiplayer game Fortnite. Among other things, virtual concerts and film premieres take place here. Not only Fortnite, but also other gaming platforms such as Roblox are increasingly developing in the direction of a metaverse platform.
Metaverse and communication
The idea of the metaverse offers many possibilities for innovative communication. Especially for influencers and companies, there will be great potential in the metaverse to strengthen their digital communication in the future. Through the metaverse, influencers can get into even closer contact with their fan base. The relationship between influencer and fans can be strengthened through virtual fan meetings, concerts or campaigns.
The metaverse also offers many new ways for PR to communicate content. By combining VR (Virtual Reality) and Metaverse, press conferences can be moved into digital space and made immersive, e.g. as a virtual stage where products are made available as manipulable 3D objects “to touch”.
Not only can presentations be taken to the next level through the metaverse and its possibilities, but storytelling, a basic element of any good narrative, can also take on new forms as a result. By adding interactive elements, product presentations, figures and data become much more tangible than on paper.
Conclusion: the metaverse is still in its infancy but has the potential to change the way we communicate. Even if it may still take years until the platform is suitable for mass use, the topic of “metaverse” should by no means be shelved.