- According to reports, only 58% of Meta’s employees understand the company’s metaverse vision.
- Mashable reported that Horizon World, another metaverse going under, has less than 200,000 monthly users, a long shot from its 500000 user target.
- Africarare, Africa’s first Metaverse, is popular among African NFT artists since they host several NFT art galleries that attract millions of viewers
The web3 ecosystem is filled with numerous technologies, each providing a broader perspective on decentralization. From digital currencies to AI applications, this revolutionary technology will replace Web2. Unfortunately, one of its primary and more practical technology, the Metaverse, has faced tough times since its launch. Its underlying blockchain technology is flawless, and its contribution to the ecosystem is redoubtable, but it’s still far below its expected mark.
Meta has now considered shutting down the Metaverse, which needs to catch up in revenue generation. This has set back the progress of the web3 ecosystem by at least a few years. Was this AI and Web3 application ahead of its time? Or was Zuckerberg too ambitious for his good?
The Rise of the Metaverse
Author Neal Stephenson first coined the term Metervese in his best-seller novel Snow Crash. At the time, the concept and workings of this blockchain-powered technology were unheard of. Furthermore, many considered it science fiction and beyond the reach of man’s technology. Fortunately, the gap between creating a virtual reality drew closer as technology advanced. The development of the Web3 ecosystem was the final piece of the puzzle that breathed new life into the concept f reality.
Experts and developers have considered the Metaverse the basic imitation o a fully functioning web3 ecosystem. It fundamentally utilizes blockchain technology to automate critical elements within its Virtual environment. In another article, we elaborated on how the Metaverse was the environment where all three aspects of the Web3 ecosystem reside and co-exist.
Mack Zuckerberg soon saw this opportunity and proposed creating a global Metaverse system to expand as its network grew. His vision soon became too intoxicating, and he was obsessed with the tech world. Developing a form of technology once considered science fiction was a project that multiple organizations were all too eager to achieve.
Also, Read Examining the Progress of the African Metaverse.
At the time, Zuckerberg had already created the medium that would allow a user to interact with the virtual world; the VR set.
Vast Potential of the Metaverse
The potential of the Metaverse was vast and played a vital role within the blockchain and Web3 ecosystem. The fundamental principle of web3 thrived within the Metaverse. It provided a heaven for NFT artists all over the world and provided the space and tools they required.
Africarare, Africa’s first Metaverse, is popular among African NFT artists since they host several NFT art galleries that attract millions of viewers. Further, due to the incorporation of smart contracts, users can digitally own virtual land. This expands the creative scope of its clients. This allows the creation of E-commerce platforms and a haven for developers to innovate.
When Meta launched its first Metaverse, the Decentraland, it sent waves across the entire tech world. Essentially they promised the user would “make eye contact” and “feel like you are right in the room together.” It offered a form of connection web2 failed to provide. Its launch sent a buzz all over the media industry as well.The Verge published nearly 5000 world-ong interviews with Zuckerberg immediately after the announcement. Initially, competitors did poke holes within its primary objectives. Some had stated that as a business, it still needed to improve in several areas. They include; a clear use case, a target audience and the willingness of customers to use it.
Zuckerberg stated that the scope of virtual reality could encompass any demographic. He further claimed that its incorporation of blockchain technology, digital currency and overall web3 ecosystem would essentially succeed the mobile network. However, he claimed that its medium still required some improvements, but every innovation takes time. The VR headset Oculus was the first among many to come, and it would eventually allow users to emerge in the Virtual world fully.
The failing points of the Metaverse
Despite advocating for the web3 ecosystem, the Metaverse son ran into numerous hurdles along the way. During its first evaluation, the meters would receive an estimated $5 trillion by 2030. At the time, experts estimated that with the mass adoption rate, its servers, blockchain technology, AI application, and VR headsets would require rapid improvements.
However, this fact remained a speculation since its usage has significantly plummeted within the past year. Meta’s share price has fallen by more than 70% within 2023. Titas such as Facebook and Instagram are losing market share rapidly as new generations prefer their fresher rivals, TikTok and Snapchat.
Apple dealt an additional blow as it changed its data privacy rules decimating revenue and “starving” Facebook of the lucrative data it uses to target ads. One of the few demerits of this AI application is its heavy reliance on data. Meta has already spent at least $115 billion on research and development of the Metaverse with little to no result.
This has affected the company’s entire output and revenue generation. With the highly competitive rate from its rival companies with vast investments in the Metaverse with no profit, the company might face death row sooner than we anticipated. According to reports, only 58% of Meta’s employees understand the company’s metaverse vision. Furthermore, AI applications like ChatGPT have shifted the markets yet again, causing a further decline in the use of this Web3 ecosystem.
Where it fails
One of the main factors that have significantly dropped the usage of the Metaverse is, in fact, its gear. Its VR set is ai to be a market leader, yet most buyers have little to no interest in its Metaverse. When comparing the distribution of mobile networks with VR headsets, the comparison is quite vivid.
Not many individuals can afford or need bulky VR headsets. Its main problem is its user experience, its approach to it has driven its short and long-term success into the mud. Blockchain technology caters to user empowerment through decentralization.
Another well-known fact behind other elements of the web3 ecosystem is its ability only to create. Allowing users to access a decentralized network of user devices provides a sense of accessibility. Applying this concept to the Metaverse might be different, but overall, it provides a more accessible and cheaper medium to access virtual reality.
Another critical approach is its fundamental objective of creating a virtual world. Virtual reality only caters to some industries through NFT, Ecommerce, E-education and digital currency. This limits the usability of the Metaverse by only focusing on one of its main attributes, Virtual reality, while underutilizing Augmented reality.
Virtual real estate App ATLAS:EARTH has significantly improved over the past few years despite blockchain-based real estate applications crashing since the crypto winter. There are more augmented reality users than virtual reality since the former merges both concepts.
Furthermore, applying a layer of the Metaverse on top of the real world expands its usability scope. Facebook’s data collection and AI application can quickly analyze metadata and find potential house buyers. By posting these locations and advertising houses on sale for Meta users, they could expand their organization and collaborate with others.
Finally, the Metaverse is crashing down due to its ability to “exaggerate their virtual world. For instance, this web3 system can create any virtual environment. Their overemphasis o providing total creative power has led to the development of peculiar and unique virtual lands.
This caters to some users but what of the rest? By not accounting for what the people want, it only caters to s small demographic. Virtual tourism is gaining much traction since it depicts experiences in a real-world restaurant at the click of a few buttons. Developers and housebuilders use AI applications and the Metaverse to construct a virtual house design catering to the client’s specifications. The Metaverse is too focused on building virtual reality while forgetting that it is relatively useless without its people.
Decentraland, the most funded, decentralized, digital currency-enabled Metaverse, only has 38 active users in its $1.3 billion ecosystem. Mashable reported that Horizon World, another metaverse going under, has less than 200,000 monthly users, a long shot from its 500000 user target.
Wall Street said that only 9% of user-created worlder were visited by more than 50 players. Microsoft axed its AltSpaceVR after laying off 100 members of its Metaverse team. Disney shut down its Metaverse division, while Walmart will do the same for Roblox-based Metaverse.
These scenarios all hint at the failure of this AI application. Although the Metaverse is steadily crumbling, it might not be enough to sink the web3 ecosystem.