In our last article – Is your social media marketing strategy up to date? – we examined four key social media content trends for 2022. One of these was making greater use of augmented, virtual and immersive reality.
All these technologies are significantly transforming the potential of social media. And, looking further ahead, they will all contribute to the development of the metaverse.
The metaverse is being hailed as the future of the internet. And in late October, Facebook announced the rebranding of its parent company to Meta.
But what exactly is the metaverse? And what impact will it have on your digital marketing strategy?
In this article we will look at:
- What is the metaverse?
- Why has Facebook rebranded itself as Meta?
- What difference will this make to your digital marketing agency?
What is the metaverse?
The metaverse is an online world. Think of all the things you can already do online, particularly those where you interact remotely with others. Work meetings, socialising with family and friends, entertainment, gaming, live events.
But Meta means beyond. And the metaverse takes things a stage further. In the metaverse, rather than just participating on a small screen, people will be enabled to experience interactions and events just as if they were actually in the room. And to interact and explore with other people who are also in that same virtual room.
The metaverse will connect a variety of digital environments. People will often use VR headsets to enter the virtual world of the metaverse. Think of the metaverse as being able to go physically inside the internet and be able to benefit from all its resources.
The new logo for Meta is based on an infinity symbol, representing the concept that there will always be more to build.
Wherever we have reached, we can always go beyond.
The logo is designed to work perfectly in both 2D and 3D.
Why has Facebook rebranded as Meta?
It is Facebook’s intention to go above and beyond its current remit. According to Mark Zuckerberg:
“From now on, we’re going to be metaverse first, not Facebook first”.
At the virtual launch of Meta, Zuckerberg explained that the existing structure of Facebook could not continue to represent everything that the company is doing today, let alone in the future. He announced that the overall business would therefore be split into two different segments, one for the family of existing apps – including Facebook, Whats App, and Instagram – and one for work on future platforms including the metaverse.
However, some critics claim that the rebrand is less about genuine innovation and more about trying to present Facebook in a better light. Amidst various negative stories about the company’s values, spreading of misinformation, and mistakes that have been made, there have also been claims that Facebook is “toxic”. A fresh new brand could indeed be very convenient in that respect.
However, laying that aside, the metaverse seems to have huge potential in terms of evolving technology and changing what we are able to do with it.
How will this affect your digital marketing agency?
Given that the metaverse is likely to take years to develop, it is probably helpful to explore this question in terms of the short, medium and long term.
The short term impact of Meta
There may be understandable concern that the Facebook rebrand could impact on the social media marketing activities of your digital marketing agency. The good news is that in this respect, nothing is going to change as yet. The Facebook and Instagram social media platforms will run in the same way as before, including ads. They are still highly used and effective marketing channels, and that is not going to change in the short term.
However, it would make sense to start looking further ahead to ensure that if and when there are further changes because of the development of the metaverse, you are well prepared for these.
So let’s take a look at some medium term changes you might want to make.
The medium term impact of Meta
The one thing that we can be confident of is that AR, VR, and IR (Augmented, Virtual and Immersive Reality) will play a more significant role in social media marketing and your strategy will need to adapt accordingly.
In our recent article Is your Social media marketing strategy up to date?, we examined some of the ways in which you can start going about this. This could be one of your key priorities for 2022, to incorporate one or more of these technologies into your social media marketing strategy.
Also look into creating 3D ads, using technology such as Google Swirl. 3D ads allow consumers to interact with products in various ways such as rotating, zooming and expanding. We will cover 3D ads in more detail in a forthcoming article.
The long term impact of Meta
The simple answer is . . . we don’t know. Meta is a new direction that is likely to have significant effects and make marketing look very different in future. The metaverse could open up a world of new opportunities, but as yet the scope of these are unknown. Nor do we know the speed at which these changes will take place.
What we do know is that in time the Meta organisation will become sufficiently diverse that you will not need to be a user of Facebook or another Meta app to be able to use the company’s other services. This in itself will mean a rethink about marketing platforms and media to be able to target a new metaverse audience that may not be as involved with social media as they are at present. They can interact in real time in the metaverse rather than on social media.
So whilst the future opportunities of the metaverse are as yet unknown, the key thing is to keep abreast of developments so that when the long term becomes the medium term, you are heading in the right direction.
The metaverse may still be some time away, but Facebook’s rebrand is a significant step towards what Mark Zuckerberg describes as “a new North Star”. So even though for now it’s business as usual, keep an eye on that star so that you won’t head in the wrong direction.
We will return to this topic regularly throughout 2022, so check back with us soon here at Xcite Digital.