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The Metaverse Doesn’t Exist, But Meta is in Charge of the Broader Narrative

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The Metaverse Doesn't Exist, But Meta is in Charge of the Broader Narrative

So what exactly is the metaverse – or more operatively, what will the metaverse be?

Because it’s not here just yet. Meta, the biggest proponent of the metaverse shift, has repeatedly stated that the metaverse that it envisions is still 10-15 years away from being a reality, which means that the true metaverse will be built for the next generation of consumers, who will be key to maximizing its adoption and take up.

But exactly what form this new digital world will take on is difficult to imagine, because we have no true concept of how all the pieces will fit, nor even what those pieces will be.

Meta has provided several examples of its broader concept.

But of course, all of these depictions are animated – none of the experiences outlined in this video actually exist yet. Some of them involve using a VR headset – and as Meta reported this week, sales of its Meta VR units are on the rise, so you can see the beginnings of this specific element in action. Others will require AR glasses – like playing chess with a friend who’s not physically there with you.

But each of these platforms will take time to evolve to the point where, as Zuckerberg says, ‘billions of people’ will be connecting in these spaces, and where they’ll also be spending ‘hundreds of billions of dollars’ on digital commerce.

Yet, even so, the hype train has already left the station.

Sensor Tower has reported that 552 mobile apps now include the term ‘metaverse’ in either their titles or descriptions, while a quick search on LinkedIn shows that more than 10,000 people now list ‘metaverse’ in their profile description, including members with job titles like ‘Chief Metaverse Officer’, ‘Head of Metaverse’, ‘Metaverse Consultant’ and more.

It’s not uncommon to see ‘metaverse ready’ as a selling point for an NFT project, while the amount of concerts, meetings and other events that are taking place ‘in the metaverse’ also seems to grow every day. Which is not possible, because, again, the metaverse doesn’t exist – and the key point of note is that nobody, not even Meta itself, knows exactly what form the metaverse itself will take.

But it’s interesting to see how Facebook’s Meta name change has immediately placed it in the center of the discussion. Since adopting the term, Meta has effectively positioned itself to dominate the next shift – because really, it’s now the one platform that’s leading the way, by taking ownership of what the metaverse concept is and will be, which will also enable it to evolve the idea at its own pace.

And while the broader concept, based on Meta’s initial illustrations of the metaverse, seems most likely to involve many hours in VR headsets, that, at least right now, is simply not realistic.

As Wall Street Journal reporter Johanna Stern outlines in her overview of spending 24 hours in VR, spending any significant amount of time in a VR headset is going to make you feel pretty sick.

I can confirm – in my own experience using the Oculus Quest 2, the most advanced AR headset available right now, many applications made me feel queasy, while once you do take off the headset, your distorted reality and perception of space can mess with your head until you re-adjust.

Some of these issues will get resolved over time, and no doubt as you get more used to spending time in these environments, you’ll also come to feel more comfortable with such. But again, right now, we’re not able to experience ‘the metaverse’ as a wholly immersive, alternate reality, because we don’t have the tools available, nor the systems in place to support such.

Which is why trends like NFTs are confusing, at least in relation to their connection to the metaverse space. Will you really be showing off digital artwork in the metaverse? I don’t know, and no one does, because again, we don’t know what form it will take. Will people care about the cartoons of monkeys that you own, or is the true value of NFTs in the transference of these characters into 3D depictions that will eventually become your avatar in the digital realm?

Will people really want to be cartoon cats and pixelated characters when they can choose any character they like, or a customized depiction of themselves?

I don’t know, but based on what we’ve seen in other precursors to the metaverse, like Roblox and Fortnite, people will most likely gravitate towards the coolest trending digital ‘skins’ of the time, as opposed to individualized, owned artworks.

And that, really, is probably where we should be looking. Digital trends take root among younger audiences, and with the metaverse still a decade or more out, it’s the youngsters spending time in these apps that are most likely to become the key focus adopters for the space. The digital habits they’re developing right now will inform the next stage – so rather than metaverse experts and NFT proponents, you’d likely be better off spending time in these apps to get a feel for what will be the key trends of focus in a likely metaverse space.

Connection in these apps has also taken on a new level of importance and value for youngsters over the past two years, due to physical meet-ups being limited, and it’s interesting to note how they use their characters as extensions of themselves, and the ways in which they seek to connect with each other through memes and culture, and the constraints of their animated beings, within these spaces.

This is where the metaverse shift is coming from, and the company that can translate these behaviors into everyday interactions will be the one that wins out.

But it is interesting to see how Meta has taken hold of the term, and the surrounding discussion. The metaverse is already a multi-billion dollar industry, and it doesn’t even exist – yet every investor is now keen to get on board with the next stage of Mark Zuckerberg’s vision, especially those who initially dismissed Facebook, and social media more broadly, and missed that boat.

It does seem that Meta, through a simple name change, is now in control of the narrative for the next stage. And while Facebook usage may be slowing, this new focus will still see it well-positioned for major ongoing growth and development.  


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Moore Digital Names Two Executives To Serve Nonprofit Fundraisers 02/07/2023

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Moore Digital Names Two Executives To Serve Nonprofit Fundraisers 02/07/2023

Moore Digital, which assists nonprofit clients with fundraising, has named Adva Priso as chief strategy officer and Bonnie Huey as senior vice president of
digital media.

They are joining a team of “more than 70 top digital experts from across the for-profit and nonprofit industries, including strategists,
media planners and …



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Pinterest Now up to 450 Million Active Users, Posts Solid Numbers in Latest Performance Report

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Pinterest Now up to 450 Million Active Users, Posts Solid Numbers in Latest Performance Report

Pinterest has posted its Q4 and full-year earnings for 2022, showing steady increases in both users and revenue, as it continues to build out its various offerings.

First off, on users, Pinterest added five million more active users – most of them coming from Europe – within the final measurement period of last year.

That’s a good sign for Pinterest, which actually lost users in early 2021, after the COVID-induced boom in eCommerce activity of the previous year, which saw the platform post record high usage numbers.

Many analysts and businesses seemed convinced that the COVID boost to online shopping would hold, even after the pandemic ended. That lead to companies like Meta, Google, Amazon and Twitter investing big into commerce solutions – but many of the staff they put on were eventually culled in the most recent round of lay-offs, because once physical stores re-opened, people actually did go back to shopping as normal, as opposed to continuing to rely on online options.

Pinterest felt that the most, but now, it’s steadily building back up again, as it continues to refine its solutions around evolving shopping behaviors. Which includes video content.

Pinterest’s big winner on this front has been Idea Pins, its Stories-like option which presents uploaded video in a swipeable, full-screen display.

Pinterest Ideas Festival updates

The emphasis on this format has helped boost the platform’s appeal with younger audiences, with Pinterest reporting that Gen Z was the fastest-growing demographic on the platform, increasing double digits year over year.

“Gen Z sessions grew much faster year over year than sessions from older demographics, while nearly half of all new videos pinned in Q4 were from Gen Z users.”

Pinterest also says that sessions continued to grow faster than MAUs, an indicator that it’s driving better engagement overall, while it also increased its overall video supply by 30%, another marker of the popularity of Idea Pins.

Because you can’t post video as a native pin anymore, only in Idea Pins (or paid ads), underlining the focus on the format, and Pinterest’s evolving usage.  

On the revenue front, Pinterest posted a 4% year-over-year increase, after bringing in $877 million Q4.

Pinterest Q4 2022

As you can see in this chart, Pinterest’s revenue is climbing steadily, though its revenue splits remain concerning:

Pinterest Q4 2022

Or maybe you see this as an opportunity, with Pinterest still able to potentially eek out a lot more revenue from regions outside of the North American market. Definitely, it’s got some work to do in that ‘Rest of World’ bracket.

But Pinterest is still developing, and is still expanding its ad and business offerings into new regions. So there is, indeed, potential there – yet the size of the gap here is a concern.

Still, there is growth, slowly but surely, and maybe, if you’re a believer, you can see more ways for Pinterest to generate much bigger revenues moving forward.

Pinterest remains focused on shopping, and highlighting relevant products to users, with its ever-evolving recommendation engine providing better content matches to more users every day. It’s also investing in live-stream shopping, a trend that all platforms hope will catch on in western markets, while it’s developing more presentation tools for Idea Pins to capitalize on that engagement.

In combination, these approaches are working – but at the same time, usage growth in your local market may have stalled, going on these charts.

And of course, while overall growth is interesting, what marketers want to know is whether their customers are there.

For this, you can use Pinterest Trends, which enables you to search for the most popular Pin trends by region.

Pinterest Trends

Tap into these with Idea Pins and you’ll likely be on the right path, based on these latest insights from the app.

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These Guys Are Stupid, And I'm Being Charitable

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These Guys Are Stupid, And I'm Being Charitable

Why do some organizations still solicit funds the way they did in the 1960s? You need to take a smarter marketing approach, or you’ll waste money like they do. I’m still getting about two bucks a month in cash from stupid, misguided charities that insist on sending me actual money in the mail. I get …

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