Understanding what the metaverse is and which platform to invest in can be confusing. Several characteristics are found in metaverses, but only four conditions are essential. A metaverse must be:
Persistent means that its environment runs continuously. It does not require you or anyone else interacting with the program to exist. Put another way, you can’t shut it off. As the old Zen koan goes, does a falling tree make noise if no one is around to hear it fall? So the new question is, does Horizon Worlds Plaza exist if no one is hanging out there? Look inside yourself, young Grasshopper, for the answer to this riddle. Another qualifier is point of view. This means the environment is perceived from the viewpoint of a first-person avatar (a digital you). However, watching one’s self socializing from a third-person vantage point seems to be endlessly fascinating to many people, hence the popularity of mirrors and POV shifts in the metaverse. Things like immersiveness, dependence on a headset or XR device, decentralized organization, blockchain commerce, and digital property ownership are all elements of metaverses but do not need to be present to qualify. Listening to or watching something through a headset doesn’t make it persistent, social, or first-person. Therefore, oddly, popular experiences like Tripp meditation and Oculus TV aren’t metaverses. Instead, they are apps or SaaSs offered or sold through metaverse platforms. Where do I think this will all go? I’ll go out on a limb and say the term metaverse is too vague and undefined to last independently. Did you realize that the internet was called the Information Superhighway in the early 90s? Like the superhighway, I predict the term metaverse will disappear, and applications will be categorized as either XR (requiring a device such as a headset) or not XR. Now let’s tackle a more concrete question. Which metaverse platform is best for your business? The short answer is Horizon Worlds and Decentraland. Spatial Ha! I tricked you. Spatial wasn’t on the shortlist. It’s too new, underfunded, and glitchy to be a viable choice. However, if Spatial overcomes its problems, it has all the features that would make it the best platform for brands. Here’s why:
Spatial is blockchain commerce-enabled
It is immersive 3D and can be accessed through VR headsets
Its avatars are photo-realistic, rendered from imported photos, and have legs
Art and asset can be imported and sold as NFTs
Spatial is the dream metaverse for businesses. Sadly, it will probably be acquired before it finds its footing. It’s worth checking out to see where we’re heading. Horizon Worlds
Horizon Worlds is one of the best platforms for business. It features:
Headset-driven immersive 3D
A software development toolkit
Functional, affordable headsets
A growing user base
A calendar of decentralized VR activities and events
Meta Horizon Worlds isn’t going to disappear because it’s Facebook. Your brand creation here is safe. Ten billion + US dollars have been invested in platform and headset development already. Monetization in Horizon Worlds is inevitable and will be cash-based. This makes more sense than crypto-commerce for most businesses because traditional banking will continue to appeal to the mainstream for the foreseeable future. On the other hand, Horizon Worlds is lacking in the cool factor. A good rule of thumb is that if your audience wouldn’t be caught dead on Facebook, you’ll probably want to build your brand elsewhere. This is especially true since entering Horizon Worlds depends on a Facebook account. Decentraland
The most significant downside to Decentraland is it’s not immersive 3D—Decentraland is only accessible through a computer or phone, not a headset. However, Decentraland has more events than Horizon Worlds, is an Ethereum-based crypto-economy that allows for decentralized commerce and NFT exchange, and appeals to the new generation of consumers entering the market. Choose Decentrland if your target audience is young techies or gamers.
Until cryptocurrencies become mainstream, traditional business adoption in Decentraland will remain low. However, Mastercard, under the guidance of McCann Advertising, built a presence in both Horizon Worlds and Decentraland for Pride Month 2022. Over sixty other big brands are established in Decentraland, too. The deal-breaker for me is it’s not VR. Honorable Mentions AltspaceVR deserves an honorable mention. It’s backed by Microsoft, but I feel it’s not welcoming businesses and instead spiraling into fringe group activities. Sandbox also has a fair number of users, but it’s not VR, and its aesthetic is primitive.
Sliice Can Help In summary, choosing a metaverse for your company is like selecting a primary social media platform—the right one depends on your specific audience and brand. Sliice offers a signature branding exercise called BrandStorm, which is executed through a face-to-face interview to assure that we deeply understand your messaging, visuals, and audience. Once we have an in-depth understanding of your business, we can choose the right metaverse platform and type of world for you. Don’t go it alone—partner with Sliice to gain visibility in the metaverse and stake your claim today. WATCH OUR VIDEO TODAY!