Since the inception of social media, many have worried about our society living in separate worlds and losing touch with reality. I still remember many arguing that MySpace was making people dumb, and I wonder what they think of modern social media channels and virtual worlds created by gaming companies.
Be it as it may, we have been going in and out of a virtual world or metaverse for a couple of decades now. The difference is that the limits were clearly defined, and you could feel the switch between the online and offline world. However, technology has been slowly blurring these lines, making it more difficult to tell the difference between real and virtual.
Online classrooms, remote work, zoom meetings, crypto currencies. We now live in a world where value cannot be measured by objective means, and we are constantly connected through invisible bridges with people from all over the world. And big tech just announced the next big step: virtual worlds.
Gucci recently did a collab with the online game platform Roblox, taking the first steps into a new era of smart product placement where users are now able to express their preferences and brand allegiances in a virtual world. The campaign was aimed at Z-gen audiences, who were eager to disburse $4,100 for the Gucci Dionysus bag. This shows how ready the market is to open up for companies and brands willing to enter these virtual worlds in ways that resonate with their target audiences without disrupting their enjoyment.
Other big names who are entering the fray are Disney and Electronic Arts.
This year, Mark Zuckerberg shook the Facebook marketing services world by announcing a big shift in their focus towards augmented reality and a change in their brand name. Meta indicates that the social media giant is now placing its bets on virtual worlds that will have their own economy and behaviors, and brands are already embracing the idea.
Facebook´s announcement looks like a way to bring attention to its own virtual world and community. However, Zuckerberg’s vision seems to be a lot more ambitious as he wants brands and users to tap into their worldbuilding abilities and create 3D interactive environments where visitors can visit their favorite store, try products on, and interact with AI sales representatives.
As cool as it sounds, it is all a long term project that still needs to convince a lot of people for the adoption of new technology such as VR goggles and high-end computers with 3D capabilities.
However, Facebook marketing services will have to prepare brands to adopt new forms of search optimization tactics that include video and image search, and start exploring the immense potential that current virtual worlds offer for brands to reach immense audiences eager for products and services that can be seamlessly integrated with their online experiences. The future belongs to brands that can see the path technology is laying ahead of us, and those who are ready to provide Facebook marketing services through every single channel they open.