A clip that's widely being shared on Twitter is actually five years old.
If you're an avid Twitter user, you've probably seen a video that appears to show Walmart's vision for the metaverse.
It's a rather eerie watch. It shows a shopper in a digital supermarket, where aisles are stocked with virtual representations of physical goods. The upper half of a Walmart employee offers assistance throughout the experience — informing them that milk isn't necessary because they've already got some at home, and sharing reviews of the best television to buy based on reviews.
The clip has come in for some criticism because of how basic and outdated it looks — and there's a very good reason for that. Although it's reasonable to assume that Walmart would be jumping on the metaverse bandwagon right now (just like Facebook, Nike and adidas have,) this video is five years old.
It was actually created to wow attendees at the South by Southwest Festival all the way back in 2017 — offering an insight into what the world of shopping could one day be like.
That hasn't stopped a tweet featuring the resurfaced video from being shared thousands of times. While some argued that it is far more convenient than a website, others lamented the poor user interface. And Marcus Hutchins, who runs the Malware Tech blog, wrote:
"Can someone explain metaverse grocery shopping to me. You are paying the premium of getting groceries delivered, whilst also paying the time cost of walking around a fake grocery store putting fake items in a fake cart. It's the worst of both worlds."
Of course, graphic design has come a long way in the past five years — as has the experience of shopping online.
But the metaverse has got a long way to go before it delivers the same usability that Web 2.0 users are accustomed to.
The coming year is going to be instrumental for Facebook, which has now rebranded to Meta as it focuses on bringing virtual worlds to the masses.