Why the future of social connection lies in the metaverse

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Earlier this year, for the first time in the company’s nearly two-decade history, Meta reported a drop in Facebook’s daily active users. Just last month, the company saw another for the first time, announcing a drop in quarterly revenue year over year.

Although Facebook is just an example, there is no denying it Social Network The landscape is changing. From “anti-Instagram” apps like BeReal that focus on authenticity, to more direct social apps like Telegram and Discord that cater to community building, new ways to form connections online constantly appearing, driven by Gen Z.

In my role at Pocket Worlds, the vast user base of Virtual World give me a front row seat to see how these trends are evolving in real time. Using that knowledge and current industry trends as a case study, I hope this section sheds light on why I believe reverse is creating the future of social connection.

The vast influence of Gen Z

Now making up more than a quarter of the global population, Gen Z plays a huge role in shaping the culture and possesses great purchasing power, holding 360 billion dollars in disposable income. As a result, companies and brands are investing top-notch resources to understand this generation and adjust their business strategies accordingly.


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As these results continue to materialize, we are increasingly seeing the enormous influence this generation has on our world and its future. From advertising and marketing to politics and Wall Street, one common theme is that this generation is looking for authenticity and real connection. For example, where billboards, magazines, and TV ads are used to reign supreme, because Gen Z places higher value on their opinions and recommendations. realistWe’re seeing influencer campaigns and tangible experiences unfold.

The metaverse: The next generation of social media

Whether inspired by the pandemic or simply a byproduct of an increasing generation of people spending time online, everyone is looking for new ways to evolve their digital interactions. . Where follower count has ever been a priority, a new focus has been placed on communities and on platforms that foster meaningful and genuine connections. With that in mind, the metaverse is quickly becoming the next iteration of social media. Here’s why:

Online IRL

Unlike the original social networks, these new communities do not start with friends. They are created by strangers with similar interests and this will blossom into something more meaningful. Look at Roblox or Sandbox. Every day millions of people create an online personality, customize and connect with other users in completely virtual settings – all knowing full well that they may never meet IRL. However, that does not negate the importance of these relationships as these platforms give users autonomy over how they present themselves and interact with others.

Self-expression is key

In a recent poll out of 1,000 Gen Zers, more than half report that social media is the only place where they can truly be themselves. Additionally, 58% said their online personality helps them feel more comfortable in their own skin. So if someone’s online identity acts as an extension of their real identity, social platforms will increasingly need to be customized. Online game and metaverse platform Everskies and Highrise are great examples of where attention is shifting, as they give users control over how they present themselves, both in their avatar and in their environment. We found that static, one-size-fits-all platforms are no longer enough, with a customizable metaverse instead.

It’s all about the experience

Instead of static posts or videos with minimal interactions, metaverse allows users to connect through shared, tangible experiences. It provides a avenue for people to interact and form deeper connections than just a like or a follow. Not only that, but the growing emphasis on authenticity has brought user-generated content to the fore; people who interact with the experience want creative control over the experience. Again, looking at Roblox specifically, users are spending an average of 150 minutes building and interacting with experiences in the world; from research that a quarter of the population will spend an hour in the metaverse within the next four years.

What does the future hold?

The future of social connection lies within the metaverse and with it the limitless possibilities for personal, professional and economic expansion. While I’ve already covered the ways the metaverse will fill the cultural gap, it also opens the door to a safer, more private online presence, without surveillance and standards. pole comes with existing social platforms.

If the development of the metaverse follows a similar orbits In light of the growth and adoption of traditional forms of social media, we will soon see more and more brands and existing communities join the metaverse and use its technology to form relationships. deeper, directly with consumers. What exactly would that look like? Only time and Gen Z will tell.

Anton Bernstein is Co-Founder and CEO of Pocket World.


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