Depending on who you ask, the metaverse is everything and nothing. A place where everyone is already meeting to work, live and play out their lives digitally. Or a place that really does not even exist yet.
Either way, it is a place of fascination for technophiles and technophobes alike.
According to a popular definition, the metaverse is an interactive space that combines real-life social interaction with extended reality (XR), and has been labeled as game-changing by many experts across a wide range of industries.
Of course, because the metaverse is projected to be the next internet—internet 3.0 / Web3—over the next two years and become a $300 billion dollar industry, it has everyone’s attention.
We went outside of Agora and spoke to 300 US-based developers to learn more about what they thought about the metaverse and what we will see in the coming years. Why developers, you ask? For developers, the growth of the metaverse allows the development of new communities and allows them to better connect with users.
Here’s a closer look at what we found.
Data privacy is key: Who is in charge of protecting your information?
According to the survey, 33% of respondents believe that data privacy and security are the biggest hurdles that the metaverse has to overcome.
The big winners: Gaming and entertainment/leisure
When asked which industry will benefit the most or experience the greatest positive impact from the metaverse, the developers surveyed put gaming and entertainment at the top, with 26% each.
It’s all about being social: Expect social to migrate to the metaverse
More than half of the developers (55%) say that it is likely the metaverse will replace real-life, in-person social interactions and experiences within the next 5 years.
Show us the money: Metaverse currency
The majority of developers are bullish on NFTs and believe they will become the biggest currently in the near team.
Further, 57% of respondents think that the metaverse will become the most popular place to buy, store and trade cryptocurrency, while 18% disagree and 25% feel neutral.
And when asked if cryptocurrency and blockchain technology advancements will be critical to shaping the future of the metaverse, 70% agreed, 9% disagreed and 21% felt neutral.
Who will own the metaverse? It’s too early to tell
It shouldn’t surprise that Facebook/Meta was top of mind in this survey, with more than half (55%) of respondents putting it on top of “owning” the metaverse. The other top responses weren’t surprising either:
A key to growth
When asked if real-time engagement technology (interactive, two-way digital video and audio) will be the solution to creating a more engaging and connected experience for the metaverse, 72% believe it will be critical, while 5% think it won’t be a prominent factor and 22% feel neutral about it.