Blockchain technology company Advokate Group commissioned a recent study of attitudes about the metaverse among 1,000 U.S. consumers, and found that over 77% of those interested in joining a metaverse are concerned about Facebook’s parent company Meta owning the data.
Eighty-seven percent of respondents preferred that a future metaverse exist on the decentralized blockchain -- an opinion that resonated among Gen Z respondents in particular, who were 10% more likely to prefer a blockchain metaverse than their Millennial counterparts.
Meta’s challenges and failures have been in the news this past year, including thousands of pages of leaked internal documents by whistleblower Frances Haugen, the premature end of its own cryptocurrency, Libra, countless lawsuits, and most recently, its stock plunge and mass user loss.
While Meta still leads the artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual reality (VR) industry in terms of hardware –– the Oculus and Meta Quest 2 –– it’s difficult to believe that CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s company, which changed its name to embrace and monopolize this future virtual space, will even be worth worrying about in the months to come.
Still, this report helps marketers to understand consumers’ valuation of a largely decentralized system -- as well as what they want most from the metaverse -- a place where 55% of respondents expected to spend three or more hours per day.
The top activity that respondents wished to pursue in the metaverse was gaming, followed closely by socializing with friends. A distant third involved work-related activities, and finally, attending virtual concerts.
Participants also wanted to make real money in the metaverse, with 93% saying they want to earn money that can be transferred to the real world. Another wish involved being able to transport between games without leaving the metaverse.
Ninety-three percent reported that they would participate in gaming more if they could make a minimum wage playing, while 63% said they would play three hours more per day if they could make money, 11% said they would play seven more hours a day and 87% would switch to full-time gaming if they could get paid.
One in five, or 20%, of respondents reported that they believe the metaverse will become mainstream within 1 to 2 years, while 49% said they believe it will take 3 to 6 years for this to happen.
Without the backing of Big Tech companies like Meta, will these virtual activities take place at all? Is a decentralized platform possible?
Decentraland, the first fully decentralized virtual world, is exhibiting a promising alternative to a Meta-owned metaverse.
This can be seen clearly through virtual real estate -- when Decentraland users purchase land parcels, they use a cryptocurrency called MANA that places their money directly back into the community’s account, not the company’s or the CEO’s.