The Latest News In Ad Tech
The digital trends for this year, 2022, will be a bit of a mash-up: There are two hugely popular buzzwords that fill our digital sphere – Metaverse and Web 3.0, and if you don’t know what they are, don’t worry, it will all become crystal clear by the end of this article.
Some may argue that “Metaverse” is simply a cooler name for VR/AR, and “Web 3.0” is simply a cooler name for Blockchain. But if you’ve been following some of my latest stories on Judy Shalom Blog or listened to my latest keynote at Stockholm Digital Marketing Conference, you’ll know that I’m a big fan of both phenomena, and to describe the concepts, we will have to dig a little deeper. But first, let’s take a look at our alternate world, Metaverse.
The winners will be those who recognize that magic for us humans is created at the intersection of the physical and the digital. This is where the spark is. The future is neither hardware nor software; it is neither physical nor digital; it is and will remain a hybrid.
In 2020, as COVID-19 spread around the world I sat down and typed the following words into one article, Our Reality, which was published in 2020. In my surveillance of the world around me at the time, I saw how the physical and digital world increasingly merge. Now that I’ve seen both Facebook and Microsoft’s visions of the “Metaverse” last autumn, I can honestly say that it’s gone much faster than I expected. However, I always thought that it was inevitable that we would get here one day.
Then, regardless of what we or they think about the results, I have to say that I am impressed with the technological advancement they have demonstrated. We truly live in an exciting epoch! And, while it may smell both cringe and cash timing when Facebook changes its name to “Meta” to position itself in the space, AR/VR will completely explode in the coming years. It is also rumored that Apple will release its first AR glasses in 2022. And, over time, VR hardware will become more user-friendly, similar to putting on a pair of glasses. Some even believe that one day we will only be inserting a small lens into the eye. The skeptics, on the other hand, say that this is just a bubble, but I tend to not really agree.
Here is a thought-provoking reflection that I see as a sign of the times. Sony PlayStation 2, with its 157 million copies sold, is the most successful gaming console of all time in terms of sales. The gaming platform Roblox, which was noted some time ago and is best described as a YouTube for games, attracts many young people, more specifically over 200 million dittos on a monthly basis. Another telling example is Fortnite, which last year held a concert in the digital gaming world with artist Travis Scott. How many participants saw it? 27 million digital viewers from all around the world. It is an interesting example that testifies that digital gaming worlds are becoming much more than just games and its economies are spinning around the clock.
In the game Roblox, every fifth player changes their avatar daily, “Image is everything in virtual experiences” and the luxury industry has not been late in embracing the trend. An analyst at Morgan Stanley believes that the luxury industry can sell digital goods for more than 50 billion by 2030, which would raise the entire industry’s revenue by 10% and the EBITDA result by 25%. Nike has recently entered into a partnership with Roblox and created “Nikeland” where you can play different sports and have fun together, but of course, also buy digital things for your avatar.
I think Zuckerberg is one of those people that has a sharp sense of what’s to come. Mark Zuckerberg is often ridiculed and sometimes described as an overrated CEO – a bit of what one might call the 90’s Bill Gates. Geeky, on the verge of a robot but the fact is that I think he has a sharp sense of what is to come. You will get a further explanation of why, if you can continue reading a few more lines.
To put it simply, Web 1.0 was the desktop era, with fixed broadband, and we mostly used computers to work and read emails. The 2000s saw the birth of Web 2.0, when the web became mobile, apps were created, and social media was born. An era that could easily be viewed as a new type of freedom, but which in many ways led to the internet eventually becoming, sadly, controlled by a few giants. The web has become increasingly centralized during this time period, giving rise to the vision of Web 3.0.
Web 3.0 is, admittedly, a lot about Blockchain, which I discussed earlier – the new internet – but the vision is bigger than that. It is about a decentralized world and an evolution of the web where we not only read (1.0) and create (2.0) but also own our content (3.0) ourselves. Where 2.0 was about apps, 3.0 is about networks where we can be free from a lot of middlemen. It is of course in its early infancy but I am convinced that this is the future and those who realize it too late will deeply regret it. With that said, the giants will do everything they can to prevent this which leads us to the next megatrend.
A super app is a mobile app that provides basic services such as chat and payments, as well as a slew of “mini-apps” from third parties. Everything from shops and restaurants to government agencies can be found here. In one app, you’ll find a mashup of everything and a little bit more. This is not yet a big deal in the Western world, but it is in the east, particularly in China. One of the world’s largest services like this is WeChat – and this is what I believe our future in Europe will consist of in the not-too-distant future.
In WeChat, for example, a person can do everything from chatting to ordering food and fixing their declaration. Crucial for an app to reach super status is to be able to connect a lot of critical services for us humans so that we eventually become totally dependent on it. Everything should be easy to manage, and the more services it provides, the more attractive the app becomes.
Of course, the giants are also looking at this in the West, and Google and Apple are doing everything they can to ensure that no one else succeeds in producing a super app. The fear is that something new and bigger will come between them and their current consumers. But here things are happening now, and it is in this light, that we must understand what Zuckerberg is trying to do. My speculation is that what Zuckerberg wants to achieve with Metaverse is to build hardware with associated software that they can then completely control. In this, Meta can then build up its super app and be independent of both Apple and Google.
So far, Facebook has been all about social media, but if Zuckerberg succeeds with this vision, it can really become a monster app offered to a large public. But what awaits then is what I have written before, that politicians will do what they can to prevent, and even stop the giants. Who will win that fight remains to be seen, but many players will try to become a super app.
Some last reflections
The Internet, and the little cell phone that we are carrying around in our pockets, is an incredibly addictive drug that has also become the greatest addictive gadget ever made in human history. Today we spend as much time on our mobiles as we sleep! Of course, there is a huge amount of money to be made in all of this, and the giants will do everything they can to get as much of the cake as possible.
From a commercial point of view and as a business owner, there is a lot to gain and profit from, but as private individuals, we should be careful so that the internet does not become too centralized, and in the end, controlled by only a few big players. Here we as world citizens need to raise our voices and politicians need to step up their digital know-how before we will have a Goliath that is ultimately too big to be shattered.
I wish you all a very healthy and happy new 2022!
Judy Shalom is CEO of Advedro, Author, Entrepreneur, Public Speaker, and most of all she is a strong businesswoman of shared learning, transparent communication, and visionary leadership. She lectures and attends various types of digital marketing conferences where she excels at explaining different types of online marketing concepts and what type of AI-driven technology is being used today in the digital world.
In years to come, we will look back at 2020 as the moment that...
With a bang, Elon Musk announced recently that Tesla will start manufacturing...
Are you one of those who still make the mistake of letting sales...