Will Metaverse change the economy of the future?

Meta Platform CEO Mark Zuckerberg told CNBC’s Jim Cramer on Wednesday that the Metaverse could represent a “massive economy” in the second half of the decade.

Mark Zuckerberg told CNBC reporter Jim Cramer that a billion people are expected to enter the Metaverse in the second half of the decade alone. More than just a social network, the possibilities that Metaverse offers are far from being reduced to the realms of gaming and socializing. The CEO of Meta sees the possibility of a large-scale economy where users will invest hundreds of dollars in virtual assets for each of them. At a time when inflation continues to rise, is this vision really realistic?

Zuckerberg is increasingly aiming his Metaverse at what he sees as the next generation of content, a virtual world where people can buy and sell digital goods to avatars that can communicate with each other. Big brands like Nike, Adidas or even Dolce & Gabbana have started investing in Metaverse to develop new collections there; it is also possible to buy virtual land or attend concerts. Several research firms have investigated the matter and have found that all these activities should bring 800 billion dollars to Zuckerberg in 2024.

“We hope to reach approximately one billion people in the metaverse who spend hundreds of dollars to buy digital goods, digital content, whether it’s clothes for their avatar or even digital goods for their virtual home”.

Mark Zuckerberg during his interview for the American TV channel CNBC.

The challenges of targeted advertising: from guinea pig to consumer

But there is actually a problem: Metaverse is seen as an entertainment platform by individuals. In a recent study published by McKinsey, 60% of the consumers surveyed claims to want to use the Metaverse for entertain, socialize and communicate with family and friends. A figure that is confirmed by another study by Productsup that claims that 60% of users are not interested in virtual shopping. This is explained on the one hand by the difficulty of abandoning the consumption methods of recent decades, but also by the current economic context, which is not conducive to the consumption of virtual goods. This is not a concern for Mark Zuckerberg, for whom the alleged “socialization” of the platform is not one marketing argument as another this one is just a decoythe goal is above all to get you to consume.

Welcome to Metaverse: A Virtual World where consuming will no longer be a choice

“You need virtual clothes, virtual tools and a variety of experiences. Our goal is for this market to reach hundreds of billions of dollars

Mark Zuckerberg. CEO of Meta

To achieve this, Zuckerberg’s team has planned everything, advertising will be shown in 3D directly in your VR headset and will be different depending on your age, gender, etc. Meta goes even further and intends to use the cameras in the originally planned Oculus helmets to track the user’s gaze on purely for advertising purposes. The goal is therefore to understand, through the extent of your gaze and your facial expression, which advertising display has the better chance of getting your attention to charge this advertisement as much as possible. These practices, while posing an obvious ethical problem, are nonetheless patented and will be an integral part of the Metaverse. A new era is therefore dawning, a virtual world that will disrupt our economy and our consumption habits.

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