The Metaverse, an unknown universe
However, this new, increasingly fashionable technology is still little recognized by the general public. In fact, only 35% of the French say they see what it is, including 14% “exactly”. If this result depicts the metaverse as still a niche universe, it also reveals a generational and social divide. The youngest thus show a better knowledge of the subject (42% of 18-24-year-olds see what the metaverse is, compared to 28% of those aged 65 and over), as do the higher socio-professional categories (59% of higher compared to 27% of people without diplomas). These two fractures, generational and social, also manifest in the representations associated with the metaverse and in the potential uses.
In detail, the perceived uses of the metaverse remain mainly centered around entertainment, the French have not yet perceived the variety of outlets that the metaverse offers. In addition, 21% consider them useless, mentioned the third point. A surprising lesson from this study is that only 5% of the French associate the metaverse with a means of circumventing health restrictions, despite the attempts of concert organizations, for example, when the rooms were closed.
The metaverse arouses fear in a clear majority of the French (75%), even within the most advanced population categories on the subject (49% of 18-24 year olds are afraid). However, note a correlation between the level of knowledge about the metaverse and the degree of fear of them: the less people see what it is, the more worried they are. This aversion to the metaverse leads, among the most fearful, to an expectation of government intervention to ensure that the virtual world respects the same rules as the real world (50% of people with metaverse fears favor legislation, compared to 39 % of those who are not afraid).
The French seem to be aware of the limits of virtualizing our activities: eight out of ten believe that a virtual world would not make it possible to reduce carbon emissions from the real world. But those under 35 are more likely to think the opposite (31% believe the virtual world reduces CO2 emissions compared to 17% of those aged 35 and over). Although young people tend to be more sensitive to the environment, they seem to be less informed about the impact of digital technology, perhaps allowing a “tension” to arise between two of their centers of interest: digital technology and the environment.
French people who do not project themselves into a virtual world
The metaverse seems to attract few French people to date: less than one in ten (8%) plans to create his digital double. And in detail, a clear minority of French people say they are ready to invest their money in digital goods and services.
A virtual world limited to entertainment
Entertainment appears several times in this study as the strong axis of the metaverse. It is not only the first perceived use (60% of mentions), but also the first expectation of potential users. Indeed, entertainment appears to be the first digital service that the French say they are ready to pay for. The actors who are expected to be prioritized in the metaverse are museums, theaters and concert organizers ahead of public administrations and private companies.
Facebook fails to establish itself as a reference to the metaverse in the French sense
Only 15% of the French are in favor of their Facebook account being associated with digital profiles in the metaverse. In addition, less than one in three French people (26%) say they trust the company to create and manage a metaverse. And when the latter is put in competition with other actors in terms of data protection, the group ranks last, and its image is probably still affected by the various scandals of leaking data from users of the social network. , including Cambridge Analytica in 2014. Thus, 17% of the French trust Facebook to manage their personal data in the metaverse, far behind more traditional players such as banks (38%) or public institutions (25%).
At the moment, Facebook’s turn towards the metaverse, illustrated in particular by the name change of the group, does not seem to carry with the French public. In addition to the lack of trust in social networks, the general public’s lack of training can be mainly explained by its remoteness from the universe of the metaverse.
Our next issue of Data Date will be devoted to this phenomenon, see you on 02/10 to find out all about the metaverse. Sign up on Linkedin by following this link!