KPMG: 78% of US adults will socialize with friends in the metaverse

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People may not know what the Metaverse has in store for them beyond gaming, but the vast majority of American adults are ready to dive into it, according to a KPMG survey.

Whether or not they agree on what it is, the Metaverse has captured the imagination of Americans. KPMG said about 78% of US adults said in a survey that they see value in immersive interactions such as socializing with friends and family, while 76% say they see value in on-the-job training in Metaverse.

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Additionally, 59% of US adults say they expect Metaverse to have a significant impact on their lives over the next 12 months, and another 48% report a significant impact over the next 5 years.

“Although still in its infancy, American adults are increasingly adapting to create real-world experiences in the ‘phygital’ world,” Cliff Justice, head of enterprise innovation at KPMG, said in a press release. “With each interaction, people become more and more accustomed to engaging in daily activities in the metaverse. From banking to telemedicine to learning and working, the medium we use to communicate and interact is constantly evolving towards the virtual.

KPMG surveyed 1,000 American adults between the ages of 18 and 65. (If you need to learn more about the metaverse, our GamesBeat Summit Next 2022 event will have speakers talking about it, including Sim City creator Will Wright, co-founder of Gallium; and Matthew Ball, CEO of Epyllion and popular book author , The Metaverse.

Growing effect

Metaverse sources of knowledge.

The metaverse has the potential to revolutionize the way businesses and consumers engage, shop, socialize and work, KPMG said. Of those who participate in Metaverse, 92% of respondents say it enhances learning opportunities, including vocational, school and higher education, while 86% say Metaverse provides opportunities for entrepreneurship, including marketing and sales.

Whether consumers engage in the metaverse or not, a majority of American adults are interested in virtual experiences. In addition to socializing, telemedicine (72%), virtual shopping apps (67%), virtual work (65%) and business creation (51%) come out on top.

The road to widespread adoption is advancing at a steady pace, but existing skepticism can create obstacles along the way. Confidentiality (80%) and privacy (79%) were the top concerns, according to the survey.

Similarly, feeling confident about privacy and the security of personal information were the most important factors in encouraging participation. Increased access to affordable technology and customizable avatars are also the most cited ways to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the metaverse, at 38% and 36%, respectively.

Almost a third (30%) of respondents say that ensuring metaverse environments are accessible to people with disabilities should be a priority in this category.

“With businesses and people still understanding the potential scale and scope of the metaverse’s impact, we must prioritize inclusive, safe and secure practices to protect users and ensure experiences are adaptable,” Justice said. “The propensity to innovate is low, and it’s time to embed these priorities into all technologies as they continue to evolve.”

As part of its strategic innovation roadmap, KPMG in the US recently partnered with KPMG in Canada to launch its Metaverse Collaboration Hub, where employees, clients and communities can connect, engage and explore growth opportunities across industries and sectors. The company has formed a dedicated team to help clients develop and execute their own metaverse strategies.

Main finding

People look forward to virtual experiences.

Forging Metaverse Connections:

  • 78% of all respondents say the metaverse allows or may allow them to have personal connections with friends and family.
  • 76% of all respondents say Metaverse improves or could improve learning opportunities such as vocational and higher education.
  • 66% of all respondents say it offers the same benefits as social media, but in a more immersive way.

Millennials (69%) and Gen Z (61%) lead the way when it comes to being excited about Metaverse, followed by Gen X (44%). Some 59% of US adults expect a significant impact from Metaverse in the next five years, with 48% expecting a significant impact in the next 12 months.

Current metaverse users are the most satisfied with their virtual experiences. Among those who participated in Metaverse, top experiences include business creation (91%), collaborative online games and simulations (91%), and immersive virtual experiences created by brands (87%).

Current Metaverse users also report virtual participation at work or school training (96%), business meetings (82%), virtual classrooms (72%), and government meetings (71%) as top experiences.

A majority of American adults, regardless of their current participation in the metaverse, are interested in virtual experiences. Top interests include virtual meetings with family and friends (73%), telemedicine (72%), virtual shopping apps (67%), virtual work (65%) and creating a business (51%).

And 32% of respondents are open, but unsure about participating in the metaverse. Of this group, 31% have less familiarity with the metaverse.

Ways to greater engagement

Respondents say privacy is the top concern 79% when using metaverse personal information tracking (79%).

Gen Z respondents worry the most about avatar customization (42%), with 36% of total respondents saying this is DEI’s top concern. Almost a third (30%) of respondents say that ensuring metaverse environments are accessible to people with disabilities should be a priority in this category.

Providing access to more affordable metaverse technologies is the top concern of Millennials (39%) and GenX/Boomers (40%).

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