What is the Metaverse and should you invest in it?

In the past couple of years, we have been hearing ‘the metaverse’ more in articles and the news, despite the term being coined over three decades ago. But what does it mean? The metaverse is a broad term to talk about virtual worlds in which users represented by avatars interact in a 3D environment. This differs from virtual reality because the metaverse is usually focused on social and economic connections. You may have remembered that In 2021, Facebook’s parent company rebranded to Meta, focusing more on this metaverse concept, but Facebook does not own the term ‘metaverse’. One feature of the metaverse is the concept of virtual space for sale. This may sound like a joke, as you are selling thin air.

With the term metaverse combining the words ‘meta’ and ‘universe’, this world, like ours, has spaces or plots which can be sold, rented or leased for things like hosting virtual galleries, virtual experiences like concerts or developing games and programmes. Also, like in the commercial property market, areas which are the most popular and have the most user traffic in the metaverse will command more value. So businesses would be more inclined to buy a property to operate their business from in a place where there is a high footfall of potential customers. But instead of selling a cafe to a small-business owner, virtual land will give you nothing tangible, but a digital space which is hard to wrap your head around. 

You may have seen on social media, adverts and influencers using VR headsets recently, which is one way people can access the metaverse. But if you are not a fan of the idea of strapping space-age goggles to your head, you are in luck as you can access the metaverse from a range of devices. However, one benefit of using a VR headset is that you will get a more immersive experience in this digital world. Augmented-reality headsets are also used for the metaverse, as computer screens can be projected in front of your eyes whilst still being able to see your workspace in front of you. 

Will this be a fad like some cryptocurrencies were a few years ago or will more people be looking at becoming virtual estate agents? Only time will tell and this popularity will be heavily linked to how many people will be willing to adopt and develop for it at this stage. We think we’ll stick to good old bricks and mortar for now!

 

Picture of a woman holding out her hand at five vertical beams of blue light, wearing a virtual-reality headset. This image is used to depict the metaverse as Harbour Property Group have written about what it means in this article.
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