The Influence of the Metaverse: How Extended Realities are Heralding Societal Changes


VR, AR, MR and XR, aka Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Mixed Reality and, as a catch-all umbrella term for all three, Extended Reality. Might any of these realities end up replacing our views of the world? Will their immersive and interactive features lead to strengthened connections between people (and, of course, between businesses and their respective customer bases), or will the advents of futuristic smart glasses, goggles and headsets lead to feelings of physical alienation, despite digital interconnectivities?

These questions may’ve been purely rhetorical a decade or two ago, but in 2023 we’re inching closer to their implications becoming realities. (Pun intended.)

The metaverse is expanding exponentially. The traction it has gained has led to more of us embracing the trends, but it’s not yet clear whether these technologies will ever full-on replace traditional media. In the meantime, investors are excited by the diversity of reality-bending simulations. The boom of the metaverse – though admittedly not quite as booming as AI’s right now – is also linking our physical economy to that of the digital economy, opening more virtual doors for cryptocurrencies to perhaps become more mainstream.

The long story short? There’s a lot going on metaverse-wise, at the moment.

Let’s break this down with a handful of general metaverse-related data points:

  • Notable metaverse stocks include Roblox (RBLX), Take-Two Interactive (TTWO), NVIDIA (NVDA), Meta (META), Microsoft (MSFT) and Apple (AAPL).
  • As of Q1 of this year, it’s been reported that more than 400 million people hop into the metaverse every month. This is supported by its market value having been between $38.50 billion and $47.48 billion in 2022 (with a staggering CAGR of 39.44%).
  • By the year 2030, the market’s value is forecasted to hit approximately $678.80 billion. (That’s a whole chunk of metaverse change.)
  • In addition to the Web3 metaverse for those more crypto and NFT-oriented (i.e. for which it’s been estimated that there are more than 50,000 all-time users), a plethora of other metaverse-inclined individuals use it for virtual hang-outs, as well as for gaming, shopping, for big-attendance watch parties, etc.

Additionally, more data has been shared from BanklessTimes, an informational content provider for alternative finance industries. BanklessTimes reports on virtual wallets, crypto brokers and exchanges, autotrading and more; this ties to metaverse-centric topics, given the prevalence of decentralized transactions and how they relate to the metaverse itself.

According to BanklessTimes:

  • 74% of American adults are joining (or are considering joining) the metaverse.
  • 59% are willing to spend $100 per month on select metaverse activities.
  • 35% say their budget is $700-$1,000 for gear that enhances XR experiences.
  • Sony and KIRKBI invested $1 billion each in Epic Games’ metaverse projects.
  • As a bonus stat, a digital Gucci Dionysus bag (i.e. not a physical one to hold or carry outside of XR) recently sold for $4,115 in Roblox’s corner of the metaverse (whereas the actual in-physical-store price is valued at $3,400). That, to word it casually, is wild.

That said, not everything is virtual rainbows exploding with money and high prospects. BanklessTimes reported that 68% of American adults ages 35 and up remain largely uninterested in tailored versions of the metaverse, whereas (as of April of 2023) 51% of active current users are aged 13 and under, 78.7% are aged 16 and under and 83.5% are aged 18 and under. Those demographics are pretty clear and will likely impact the trajectory of metaverse marketing campaigns.

Overall, though we live in an era of new tech revolutions that can spark overnight, the metaverse seems as though it’s here to stay. Thus, with its inevitable growth, staying privy to its developments (especially if you’re part of a business aiming to stay ahead of the curve) is an important flag to plant.

And in the metaverse, you can plant that flag in virtual soil, or underwater, or next to a DJ at a virtual EDM show, or even on Mars.

Edited by Greg Tavarez
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