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Over the last few weeks, many people have asked me the same question: Is the metaverse dead? This pessimism is not surprising, considering that Meta stock has lost over half its value since formally announcing its strategic pivot to the metaverse. Adding insult to injury, last week Meta announced major layoffs across the company, increasing fear throughout the industry.
Trying my best to be objective, I see the current struggles at Meta as a reflection of its legacy business rather than an indication that its metaverse strategy is failing. I believe it will take another year or two before we can really predict whether Meta will be successful in this space, or if other large players will emerge as the true leaders of the metaverse.
My bigger concern is that the general public is still confused about what “the metaverse” is and how it will benefit society. You’d think this would be clear by now, but even simple definitions of the metaverse are hard to come by. Personally, I blame influencers from the Web3 space for creating the confusion, describing the metaverse in terms of blockchains, cryptocurrencies and NFTs. These are profoundly useful technologies but are no more relevant to the metaverse than 5G, GPS or GPUs.
The metaverse is not about any specific pieces of infrastructure.
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The metaverse is not about NFTs
I point this out because of an experience I had at the Metaverse Summit in San Jose two weeks ago. During the event, I sat in on a roundtable on the topic of “Metaverse Marketing.” Executives from many big brands attended. To my surprise, nobody talked about issues that I would consider relevant to …