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As more people move their lives online, the demand for virtual worlds and online spaces has increased. We are constantly building our digital presence from social media to cloud storage. Now there is a new frontier — the metaverse. Virtual worlds that allow users to create and share experiences with others are growing in popularity, and virtual real estate is becoming a hot topic.
I’ve been in the social media marketing industry for 15 years, and I’ve worked with a dozen real estate companies in Malibu. Since the metaverse was the convergence of both worlds, I was hooked from Day 1, reading about virtual real estate projects, white papers and opinion pieces from other industry experts. Since then I’ve dug into Web3 and the potential advertising opportunities this space offers brands.
Most are still hesitant when it comes to investing in the digital space. But now we’re seeing big companies like Samsung, J.P. Morgan, Nike and even superstars like Snoop Dogg, Paris Hilton and Lady Gaga have entered the metaverse.
What Is the Metaverse?
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is spearheading the global adoption of the metaverse, a digital universe where people can socialize, work and play. According to a piece for Vox‘s Recode, “the metaverse, as Zuckerberg and others have defined it, is a way for us to make our virtual lives more seamlessly integrated with our real ones.”
Zuckerberg is investing heavily in the development of the metaverse. In 2014, Facebook acquired Oculus VR, a leading virtual reality company, for $2 billion. In addition to Oculus, Facebook is also working on its own augmented reality technology. The company’s AR platform has rebranded from Facebook’s Horizon to Horizon Worlds.
What Is Virtual Real Estate?
Virtual real estate refers to digital property that exists in online spaces, also known as virtual worlds or metaverses. These digital properties take many forms, but parcels of land, buildings and avatars are the most common.
Roblox is arguably one of the more popular online gaming platforms that allow users to create and share their own virtual games and worlds. The free platform has been around since 2007, but only gained more mainstream popularity in the last few years. One of the most popular features is the ability to “own” land or virtual real estate.
The Sandbox is a virtual platform that uses blockchain technology to enable secure transactions and create a decentralized marketplace for virtual gaming experience ownership. The Sandbox offers a unique gaming experience where players can build and monetize their game experiences using the platform’s virtual currency. The platform has attracted some of the biggest names in the gaming industry, including Ubisoft. It offers a unique combination of gaming and virtual real estate opportunities that make it an attractive proposition for gamers and game developers.
What Brands Should Know About Virtual Real Estate
More and more people are spending time in the metaverse, and as the number of users grows, so does the potential value of virtual real estate. It’s a new and exciting way to engage audiences in a more user-centric iteration of the internet.
If you’re a brand leader or entrepreneur thinking about getting into virtual real estate, there are a few things you should know:
You don’t need a VR headset.
Yes, it’s in a digital/virtual space, but you don’t need a VR headset to engage with the metaverse and its users. Established platforms like Decentraland and Somnium Space are popular metaverses that are accessible via desktop. So don’t be put off by the VR hype — you can still get involved without breaking the bank on expensive headsets.
Web3 isn’t a fad.
With the advent of blockchain technology, virtual real estate is becoming even more mainstream, as it allows for the tokenization of virtual land. This means that ownership of virtual land can be stored on the blockchain, just like any other asset. What’s more, because the same physical limitations do not bind virtual land as traditional real estate, it can be developed in ways that are simply not possible in the physical world. This opens up a whole new world of possibilities for developers, brands, entrepreneurs and investors alike.
Virtual real estate has a unique potential.
Virtual real estate in the metaverse is becoming the new normal in our journey toward Web3. This new economy is being fueled by the growing popularity of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). More and more people are donning headsets and spending time in virtual worlds like never before. According to findings from Grand View Research, the VR industry is projected to grow at a CAGR of 15 percent from 2022 to 2023.
As more and more people join the metaverse, the industry will inevitably become more and more crowded. This could lead to an inflation of prices for virtual assets, like land, if demand outstrips supply. The market for virtual real estate is relatively new, and it’s hard to predict how it will develop over time, so it’s critical to do your research and be prepared.
So, what do you think? Are virtual real estate and the metaverse here to stay? Will they continue to grow in popularity?
The market is still growing, and new movers have plenty of opportunities. Remember that there are scams out there, so do all necessary due diligence and thorough research before considering if entering the metaverse is right for your business or brand.