Hailed as the next iteration of the internet, the metaverse combines our physical reality with augmented and virtual reality.
In this virtual world, people, through avatars, will interact with each other in various settings, from the office, sporting matches, concerts, and even historical events. The metaverse offers limitless, connected virtual communities via virtual reality (VR) headsets, augmented reality (AR) glasses, smartphone apps, and other technologies.
Despite all the hype and invested funds, the metaverse is still in its starting stages. In this article, we will take a look at who is currently engaging with the metaverse, i.e. the key demographics of the metaverse and some of the metaverse usage trends expected to turn this sci-fi concept into reality.
Key Metaverse Stats:
- Revenue from metaverse technologies might reach $800 billion by 2024, a $300 billion increase from 2020.
- Online games and gaming equipment manufacturers are set to take up more than $400 billion of the market in 2023. The remainder will come from live entertainment and social media. (Mobindustry)
- The size of the metaverse market will be 2.7 times bigger than the total gaming market (including software, services, and ad revenue). (Mobindustry)
- NFTs witnessed a growth of $2.5 billion during the peak of the pandemic. (Forbes)
- The global AR (Augmented Reality) and VR (Virtual Reality) market is set to reach $300 billion by 2024. (Statista)
- AI could contribute $15.7 trillion to the global economy by 2030. (PWC)
Metaverse Demographics & Statistics
Who is engaging with the metaverse right now?
1. Metaverse players are young males.
Since Fortnite, Roblox, and Minecraft are the three biggest metaverse titles, Newzoo has designated all users of these games as metaverse players. According to this classification, the average metaverse player is around 27 years old, compared to the average gamer who is about 38 years of age.
In terms of gender, metaverse players are males (59% vs 41%). The majority of traditional gamers, on the other hand, are females, i.e. 53% vs 47%. (Newzoo)
2. Metaverse players who play to socialize spend more time and money on games.
Metaverse players who play to socialize spend around 2 hours a month more on games than the average player.
Higher engagement rates for metaverse socializing players show that the metaverse could be on its way to replacing social media. It also falls in line with a recent Statista survey according to which 24% of US adults believe the metaverse can totally replace social media. 42% of respondents think it can partially replace it.
Longer playtime also translates into spending. Newzoo found that each metaverse player spent $1.28 more if they played to socialize. Broken down by games, stats look like this:
3. Metaverse players are more likely to engage with Snapchat and TikTok than other social networks.
41% of metaverse players used TikTok in the last six months compared to just 21% of all other players. The same is true for Snapchat, another ‘new’ social media platform. Namely, 35% of metaverse players use this site, while only 21% of non-metaverse players use Snapchat.
Facebook’s popularity among the younger population in the US has been declining which is reflected in how much younger metaverse players use the social media site. According to Newzoo, 58% of traditional gamers use Facebook, while the same is true for 49% of metaverse players. (Newzoo)
Future Metaverse Usage Trends
What do internet users think about the metaverse?
4. 74% of internet users would join or consider joining the metaverse.
Of these 41% would do it to experience things they can’t do in the physical world, whereas 38% would do it to socialize and connect with people. Only 28% would use the metaverse as an escape from reality. (Statista)
5. The majority of internet users cite privacy as the biggest concern regarding the metaverse.
87% of respondents in a 2021 survey were worried about their privacy in the metaverse. Other concerns include:
- It will be easy for hackers to assume the identity of others: 50%
- Identity will not be legally protected: 47%
- Data will be collected and used against users: 45%
- The identity of others cannot be verified: 43%
- It will be too easy to reveal one’s true identity in the metaverse: 41%
- Transactions won’t be secure: 37% (Statista)
6. A third of internet users are curious about the metaverse.
33% of those interviewed in an online survey were curious about the metaverse. However, most of the respondents expressed negative feelings with 27% saying they were uninterested and 19% stating they were concerned. 23% were suspicious and 12% were confused.
It’s not all negative though. Overcoming obstacles that stop them from doing something in the physical world was seen as the biggest benefit of the metaverse, cited by 39% and followed by enhancing creativity and imagination (37%) and traveling without leaving your home (37%). Other benefits included new job opportunities (30%) and increasing technological literacy (34%). (Statista)
7. 11% of internet users think the metaverse will be a short-lived trend.
Less than a third of respondents in a poll carried out this year said that the metaverse is not as good as real life. 26% see it as the future of technology, while only 9% think of it as a better alternative to real life. (Statista)
8. Six in ten gamers would use the metaverse for gaming.
This was the most popular reason cited by respondents in a 2021 poll, followed by creating content, mentioned by 28% of those surveyed. (Statista)
9. 49% of internet users think that sexually explicit content should be restricted on the metaverse.
60% advocated for full censorship of suicide, while 57% believe that animal abuse should also be censored. Racism, fake news, and hate speech are other things users would like to be censored in the metaverse. Surprisingly, 26% stated that religious offenses should not be restricted. (Statista)
Companies That Are Developing Metaverse in 2022
The main company developing the metaverse has already invested $50 million in research to make sure that metaverse products are developed responsibly. Mark Zuckerberg’s company is also investing $10 billion in the metaverse and planning to create 10,000 jobs in the European Union over the next five years. (The Verge, Facebook, Reuters)
The company launched its Omniverse last November. Dubbing it as a “metaverse for engineers”, the reference platform for 3D simulation and design collaboration has garnered 100,000 users so far. (RCR Wireless News)
The organization behind mega-popular Fortnite secured $1 billion to further the metaverse’s long-term objectives in April 2021. (Epic Games)
The tech giant has already launched Microsoft Mesh, a Mixed Reality platform allowing Teams users to work together in virtual space and work with 3D content. Microsoft recently announced that they plan to acquire Activision Blizzard, thus accelerating the growth of their gaming business across PC, mobile, cloud, and console which will in turn help build the metaverse. (Fast Company)
A VR 3D platform based on Ethereum-blockchain, Decentraland lets people engage in interactive activities in a simulated environment. One of the most popular metaverses today, Decentraland Games’ casino made $7.5 million in three months after its launch. (Influencer Marketing Hub)
This mega-popular gaming platform is building a business model for the metaverse. Roblox had 47 million daily active users in the third quarter of 2021 alone. (Fool)
Zepeto, Zara’s Metaverse
The Spanish retail chain launched its first virtual clothing collection. There are already 50,000 users interested in the collection hosted on the South Korean virtual platform Zepeto which boasts 200 million users. (Medium)
The entertainment giant has plans to build a metaverse theme park and has appointed a senior vice president for Next Generation Storytelling and Consumer Experiences, specifically to lead the company’s metaverse strategy. (BBC)
This virtual store located in the Decentraland metaverse is modeled after the Samsung 837 physical store in New York, complete with Connectivity Theater, the Sustainability Forest, and the Customization Stage. This comes on the heels of the electronic company announcing that their smart TVs will support NFTs. (Bitcoin News)
Gucci launched a digital-only collection of items for Roblox, managing to sell a digital iteration of one of their famous bags for $800 more than its real-life price. The company also launched Vault, a digital distribution platform, that will sell “Supergucci” NFTs. (HYPEBEAST, Influencer Marketing Hub)
What Does the Future Hold for the Metaverse?
By 2026, it is expected that 25% of the world’s population will spend at least one hour a day in the metaverse for digital activities, including shopping, work, education, social interaction, or entertainment.
On top of that, 30% of global businesses are anticipated to have goods and services accessible in the metaverse by 2026. This means that we can expect to see more and more businesses utilizing its capabilities, as they try to stay relevant to the metaverse demographics and expand their products and services into the virtual environment.