It took me some time to wrap my head around the metaverse. The concept, which was officially announced by Facebook—now named Meta—last week, feels like it’s right out of a sci-fi novel. In fact, the word “metaverse” was coined by Neal Stephenson in his 1992 science fiction book Snow Crash. In Mark Zuckerberg’s interpretation, a metaverse is basically a virtual reality playground where anyone, anywhere can virtually interact with anyone, anywhere else through avatars, holograms, and digital worlds built not just by Meta, but by users themselves. Picture The Sims, but you’re living in it.
What’s the point of it all? For one thing, this past year taught us that connecting in a virtual world can be easier than the physical one. But really, from everything I’ve read it boils down to: why not? I’ll let the conspiracy theorists answer that one, and instead turn my focus to creators. Yes, in many ways, the metaverse is another digital platform that creators might have to adapt to. But unlike any one social media app, the metaverse is theoretically limitless, which means the benefits for creators could be, also.
Let’s talk a look at five:
Creators could interact with audiences in a whole new way
The relationship between digital creators and their audiences for the most part happens on opposite sides of a screen. Comments and DMs are pretty much all there is for followers looking to connect, but the metaverse could theoretically put an influencer and their audience in the same digital room, to talk in real time face to face—or, really, avatar to avatar.
The metaverse would provide another income stream
One thing Zuckerberg and others repeatedly mentioned in the Connect 2021 presentation that introduced the world to the metaverse was how users would be able to buy anything from digital clothes for their avatar to wear to digital art to hang in their virtual home. These digital products would be designed by creators, who could make income selling them the same way they do IRL products.
Traditional brand deals would get a makeover
You better believe brands will be getting in on the metaverse, which means influencers could be working with them in whole new ways. Maybe your avatar gets to model the latest virtual clothing from designers, or are gifted virtual homewares to show off to their virtual guests.
You could learn a new skill
Reading all this may have you panicking. What if you don’t know how to create virtual objects to sell? It’s likely not many of us do, which is why Meta has already introduced two educational platforms for aspiring AR and VR creators: Spark AR and the Presence Platform.
It would open the door for new types of creators
On the flip side, creators without a background in traditional influencing, like Instagram and YouTube, but who are interested in VR, could thrive as an influencer in the metaverse in ways they haven’t yet been able to IRL.