AND BY THAT, WE DON'T MEAN IT'S THE FUTURE OF RETAIL
The metaverse is the new mall.
And no, not because it’s full of brands wanting your attention.
Let’s call a spade a spade:
The metaverse is the new mall because it is a place kids love* to kill time and make friends—and basically everyone else will hate it.
It’s is simple:
It’s too much work.
Much like going to the mall requires getting in a car, finding parking, not finding what you’re looking for, dealing with others and most often walking away with nothing.
The metaverse requires too much of us.
The metaverse is not made for scrolling in bed lying next to sleeping partners. Nor for using while standing in line for coffee. And it’s certainly not made for wasting time at the office when we can’t focus.
It’s not immediately gratifying.
It’s not designed to be sneaky or mindless.
The metaverse requires full immersion. Immersion we won’t tolerate lying in bed next to us. Immersion we can’t hide. Immersion we can’t sneak in the in between.
IT’S GOGGLES, AND GESTURES AND NOT ANYWHERE CLOSE TO AS SUBTLE AS A SWIPE.
THE METAVERSE IS OBVIOUS. TOO OBVIOUS.
And it’s complex.
Worlds change fast. You don’t learn to scroll vertically and call it a day.
If you aren’t doing it for work or aren’t an avid gamer, you won’t keep up.
And the final reason the metaverse will not go mainstream?
Delia Cai puts it perfectly: “the pandemic taught us no one actually wants to be on the internet more.”
So, you’re a brand and you’re wondering if you should enter the metaverse. How do you know if it’s right for you?
It’s actually quite simple.
Are you a media franchise? This could be your jam. Are you a genuinely beloved youth brand? If so, play at your own risk. If not, much like branded TikTok doesn’t play well, branded Metaverse spaces are probably not going to do you much good.
It’s time we stop burning millions only to get ignored.
Let’s let the kids have the metaverse. They deserve it. Leave it there for them to have fun with, to get weird and try things they want to in a world dwindling with ‘safe’ options.
Everyone else? Find another way to spend precious marketing dollars.
ENGAGEMENT IS ELSEWHERE.
*About 50% of Roblox are 12 or under—and users spend a lot of time there.
A recent Qustodio study showed TikTok running circles around YouTube in daily engagement (113 minutes per day vs. 77 minutes per day, for daily actives). But Roblox trumps both at a staggering 190 minutes per day, up 90% since 2020.