In this 6-part blog series, we’re going to explore why everyone’s talking about the metaverse, and why it matters. Think of it as a primer for the new frontier. You’ll hear from some of us at Webhelp on everything metaversal, from what it is to what it will mean for your customers, businesses and employees. 

The first blog by Paul Danter, CO-CEO, Digital Content Services at Webhelp, explores the metaverse, what it is NOT and what this means for brands looking to stake their claim in this new world.

What is the metaverse? 

So, in this first of our six blogs, let’s start by defining what the metaverse is, by talking about what it is not. It’s not a single destination (at least not yet), or a single technology platform. It’s not a pair of virtual reality (VR) goggles or an augmented reality (AR) app on your phone.

It’s a ‘collective virtual open space,’ a network that combines multiple technologies already in use, like AR, VR, artificial intelligence (AI) and more, and creates a single, immersive experience.

Think of it like when you go to see a film on the big screen in the cinema. Your experience of the film is made up of various elements: it’s informed by the surround sound system in the cinema, the size of the screen, the people around you, and the food and drink you may (or may not) have bought. At a good cinema, everything works in tandem to create an experience you feel truly part of and one that can feel greater than the sum of its parts. 

But that experience is some way off. At this point in the 21st century, a single unified metaverse is still an idea, although multiple metaversal spaces (like Roblox, for example) are already in existence. In the words of the celebrated futurist William Gibson, “The future is already here. It’s just not very evenly distributed.” 

What does the future of the metaverse hold? 

While elements of the metaverse exist – AR and VR worlds, or games like Roblox and virtual worlds like The Sandbox – a single, unified metaverse destination doesn’t exist yet and isn’t about to any time soon.

We’re looking at the next few decades for the metaverse to come to full fruition, and it won’t replace the internet, so much as it will be built upon its foundations. Eventually, the metaverse could be a single destination, a unified network for a world of interoperable virtual 3D products, applications, tools, and experiences.

So for now, don’t buy a ticket from anyone claiming to be its sole gatekeeper. Beware the salespeople who simply swap out the word ‘gaming’ and replace it with ‘metaverse.’ It is here now but it’s in small pockets – and as a business Webhelp is on the frontline of defining how CX will look and feel when you’re there. Elements of the metaverse are in place, but we’re at its dawn as a concept.

That’s why now is the perfect moment to start thinking about where the opportunities might be for your business to join this vast collection of platforms, social networks, video games, and virtual worlds where citizen-consumers can talk and shop and chat and live.

What’s all the excitement about? 

In our six-part series, we’re going to be looking at the transformational potential of this next game-changing evolution of the web. We’ll look at what it means for brands and what’s already happening in this space, whether it’s virtual shopping experiences or how to start thinking about your brand identity in the metaverse. We’ll look at what customers can expect and how the metaverse promises to bring changes to their behaviours. Crucially, we’ll look at how we can keep users safe in these spaces.

What will it mean for Customer Experience in virtual worlds? In the future, will we go clothes shopping with friends’ avatars, in a brand’s own experiential stores in the metaverse, where we can try on and buy clothes that are then shipped to us as physical goods? How will customer care work in this brave new world?

While that might be years away, in the immediate future what does CX in the metaverse look like? We’re already working on the frontier of this new world, and we’ll be showing you how we help our clients onboard new users and drive growth. We’ll also talk about the kind of people you’ll need to employ to make all this happen, and the skills you’ll need in your team.

So, tune into our new blog series to find out more. Everything you want to know to become well metaversed, but were afraid to ask…

Paul Danter

Co-Chief Executive Officer, Digital Content Services

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