Sitting comfortably in your living room, you grab your Oculus Rift VR virtual reality headset and place it over your eyes. And that’s how you find yourself holding a press conference in virtual reality for journalists from all over the world.
Welcome to the metaverse, one of the many opportunities for brands that are increasingly drawn to explore this exciting world that lies on the border between the real and the virtual.
It is a term that comes to us from the realm of science fiction a few decades ago, but has recently forced itself into the heart of public discourse, as the next phase of technology and the Internet.
Like the brands in the mid-90s that couldn’t ignore the craze dotcomsbrands today strive to understand the metaverse and how this technology can help them build their online reputation.
For Edouard Fillias, CEO and founder of digital communications agency JIN, the opportunity is unparalleled: ” think of the metaverse as a place rich with a multitude of new social platforms, including hundreds of new apps like TikTok “.
For Édouard Fillias, brands must take on a double challenge: to understand this new world, but also to know how to navigate in it and behave when you are inside.
The Metaverse: What is it and why can’t brands ignore it?
Some are now criticizing the hyper-hyped metaverse, also referred to as the foundational concept of Web3, which, given the recent crash in the cryptocurrency market, may have already reached its speculative bubble. But for others, the metaverse is a gift from God.
That’s according to the CEO of JIN, an influencer and digital communications agency based in Paris. According to him, Web3 is the next iteration of the Internet.
Édouard Fillias is an avowed liberal, vice-president of the Think Tank Génération Libre. For him, Web3 is strongly associated with individual freedom and the growing desire of individuals to regain control of their data and identity online.
” We’ve seen these big tech companies both take a lot of personal data and create amazing services, but also raise questions about individual freedom, privacy and our own independence. “, explains Edouard Fillias.
Web3 is a turning point in relation to these problems. When a video or post is published on YouTube or Instagram, it may appear on the profile, but it also belongs to the platform, which can delete it at any time. New “blockchain” technologies, on the other hand, create a secure system that removes the role of the middleman, often that of large technology companies, to carry out transactions. Everything you create online in this world is therefore your property. Portability—the ability to transfer data from one platform to another—also diminishes the network effects that have allowed tech companies to collect so much data and become so powerful.
The metaverse sits at the center of it all. It is a digital extension of the real world where we can virtually interact, communicate and collaborate with each other, as well as store our digital assets.
Édouard Fillias draws a parallel with some of the multiplayer online games such as World of Warcraft and Dungeons and Dragons. This gives an idea of their ability to foster community in immersive digital environments. Plus, new incentive dynamics, like NFTs or games Play to earncan reward customers for their interaction.
How can digital agencies support companies in their metaverse strategy?
For Fabien Fichet, account manager and metaverse product manager for the JIN agency, the strategy takes place in 3 steps.
First of all there is learning expedition. Basically, it’s about educating the team to ensure they have a full understanding of the world they’re about to enter. This includes navigating the world of cryptocurrencies, NFTs and augmented reality (XR) among others ). Overlapping universes for which a map has been created to help users navigate.
” We take the leadership group for a day in the metaverse “, explains Fabien Fichet. ” We give them VR headsets, create avatars for them and let them try this world for real “.
The next step is to build the corporate headquarters in the Metaverse. It is a matter of understanding how a company, a brand wants to establish itself physically in this virtual world.
” The questions we examine are “Should you create NFTs?” and “Should you create a virtual office space?” », analyzes Fabien Fichet.
Finally, there is one last step and not least. The JIN agency calls it “extended activation”. It’s about helping brands stand out in this world.