Metaverse Adoption May Be Disappointingly Slow
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Metaverse Adoption May Be Disappointingly Slow

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9 months ago

Gartner estimates that 25% of people will spend at least one hour a day in the metaverse — whether this is for work, to shop, to learn, or for entertainment.

Metaverse Adoption May Be Disappointingly Slow

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The metaverse is being touted as a technological revolution that will transform all of our lives — but new research might form disappointing reading to the companies betting big on virtual worlds.

Gartner estimates that 25% of people will spend at least one hour a day in the metaverse by 2026 — whether this is for work, to shop, to learn, or for entertainment.

Given how Meta is betting its entire business model on the metaverse — even changing its name to reflect that its focus is no longer on its social networks — this forecast could be worrying.

For context, an estimated 35.6% of the global population used Facebook as of March 2021 — spending an average of two hours and 24 minutes a day on the site.

Gartner's findings suggest it will take time for the public to appreciate the opportunities that the metaverse can bring, and levels of adoption will be slow at first. Research vice president Marty Resnick said:

"Vendors are already building ways for users to replicate their lives in digital worlds. From attending virtual classrooms to buying digital land and constructing virtual homes, these activities are currently being conducted in separate environments. Eventually, they will take place in a single environment – the metaverse – with multiple destinations across technologies and experiences."

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A 'Nascent and Fragmented' Space

Gartner also predicts that the metaverse will be underpinned by a virtual economy powered by digital currencies and non-fungible tokens — and 30% of global organizations will have products and services ready for this cutting-edge space in four years' time.

Striking a cautious note, the firm said "it is still too early to know which investments will be viable in the long term" — indicating that, while billions of dollars are going to be poured into a plethora of rival platforms, only a few will survive.

Meta is facing stiff competition from blockchain-based alternatives including The Sandbox and Decentraland, both of which have already launched. Adidas is among the big brands that have already formed partnerships with The Sandbox — with the sportswear giant buying a plot of virtual land within its ecosystem.

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