Op-Ed: The Next Frontier for Communicators: The Metaverse

Op-Ed: The Next Frontier for Communicators: The Metaverse

By Sara Pereira, Regional Technology Lead, WE Communications. Read more on WE’s website and subscribe to their newsletter “The Next Normal” for more insights for trends that matter to communicators.

The idea of the metaverse has been around for decades, tracing its origins to Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash, published in 1992, but 2022 is the year it came into its own.

In Asia, we have seen excitement build as businesses and consumers explore the limits of what a metaverse experience can be. According to our research done from August 2021 to January 2022, having reviewed over 7 million English conversations to see what our communities were saying about the metaverse, there was a significant uptick in conversations across Asia Pacific and Japan relating to the metaverse in the second half of 2021, fueled by Facebook’s name change to Meta and the announcement of its intent to focus on creating experiences for the metaverse.

Mentions of the Metaverse Spike in September ‘21

Top Brands Mentioned In Regional Conversations Relating To The Metaverse

However, Meta was not the only brand participating in the conversation. Platform developer Unreal Engine led in Asia as more brands like Sony and Krafton look to partner with the platform to build properties in the metaverse. 

Asia’s Conversations Relating To The Metaverse By Market

While conversations were happening all across the region, Indonesia led the discussion.

Topics Discussed In Asia In Relations To The Metaverse

In terms of content topics, about 52% of regional conversations focused on non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and digital assets. Job opportunities were on the rise from companies such as Facebook and Disney. These positions include metaverse creators and developers; NFT subject-matter experts for marketing, business development, and innovation roles; Game Designers; NFT Strategists; Blockchain Engineers; and Product Managers. 

For all the excitement and experimentation being created around the metaverse, the basics still hold for communicators looking to build spaces to reach audiences: 

1. Find your audiences
Much like social media today, the metaverse spaces are separate in access, membership and technology. Users cannot jump seamlessly from Decentraland to Roblox. However, industry insiders expect metaverse spaces to eventually become more interconnected. In the meantime, communicators will need to choose which platforms to prioritise their efforts.

2. Experiment
Metaverse spaces enable users to socialise, play, experience, work, train, and trade in virtual settings from games and 3D worlds to virtual reality-based surgical systems. This allows communicators to show up in new and interesting ways - do not just create content, create experiences that push your brand forward. 

3.  Understand Gen Z
Gen Z makes up a sizeable part of metaverse users, but we need to define and understand audiences better. Consider the following questions:
  • What motivates them to act?
  • What do they need to hear from you?
  • How do they interact with specific platforms?
The metaverse is the next frontier for communicators. Like the Internet in the mid-1990s, there is an opportunity for companies to get in on the action and gain an advantage as first movers in the space. As the metaverse is still nascent, there is room for communicators to experiment, innovate and build their strategy before it becomes mainstream.

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