What is Facebook's Metaverse and How It Will Affect Your Business

Jan 28, 2022
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What is Facebook's Metaverse and How It Will Affect Your Business

Facebook made a lot of headlines with its recent announcement of renaming the company into Meta. Their introduction of the Facebook Metaverse put the spotlight on the metaverse and online worlds becoming the future of social media and businesses.

With the pandemic still continuing its effect on the global workforce, businesses are looking into how the metaverse can be used in working with remote and hybrid teams, as well as connecting with their audiences.

Read along to find out more about the Facebook Metaverse, its implications in the future of businesses all over the world, and how you can prepare for the upcoming rollout of its features.

What is the Metaverse?

The metaverse, simply put, is a collection of technologies that make up a digital, virtual world on the internet. Successful iterations usable to the masses today include VR Chat and Fortnite

These are video games, whose level of success with offering a virtual world to a massive user base, are great examples of what the metaverse is.

The metaverse, in general, is a digital, virtual, online experience that is immersive compared to the usual internet sessions, and is persistent, or does not expire even when one user leaves.

Really, the metaverse is just an online world. Fortnite and VR Chat are metaverse platforms that focus on gaming, but also offer avenues for socialization between users.

Basically, the metaverse is here and it already exists, albeit accessed mostly by gamers and immersive cyberspace developers. Facebook, now Meta, aims to create its metaverse experience directed to a broader audience group who use the internet for social media.

The Facebook Metaverse, Explained

Facebook metaverse is the company’s future online world that offers a more immersive experience of participating in social media.

As with its artistic presentation from the announcement, it’s targeted to be a more present way of connecting with others over the internet.

Using virtual and augmented reality technologies, the Facebook Metaverse aims to create an online world where more than just gaming can be done. 

You’ll be able to hang out with friends, go to work, relax with your family, make digital purchases, hang out with your favorite influencer, and even buy real estate.

Although some form of the metaverse already exists, Mark Zuckerberg's vision of the metaverse is not even close to being here yet. 

Zuckerberg aims to build the metaverse into a mainstream experience, where people will interact in a digital world with AR and VR, as an avatar, and make digital transactions with cryptocurrencies. 

Meta, and more importantly, its users will have to build its infrastructure over the next 10 years. Still, the shift of Facebook into Meta is one of the loudest announcements of a company moving into Web 3.0

Global Brands Engaging the Metaverse

The metaverse is already predicted to change social media as we know it. When more digital experiences actually come onto the metaverse, it will introduce more than just new ways of connecting and socializing with others.

Facebook, now Meta, just announced that it's entering the metaverse as a brand. Their plans for what they’re offering in the future remain to be mostly artistic renditions, but other brands have already done this. How can yours do the same?

Immersive concerts, beyond just live streaming, have already taken place on the metaverse. Nike patented virtual goods, and Walmart is preparing for its metaverse entry.

With cybersecurity issues increasing everyone’s apprehension about the metaverse, brands are conservative and strategic in entering this futuristic realm of interconnectivity.

Intellectual property protection is already being standardized and regulated through the highly criticized NFTs (non-fungible tokens), and the blockchain technology behind it is a promising start.

This means you don’t have to be overly skeptical about intellectual property security, and instead focus on a game plan for when more of the physical world goes into the metaverse.

Your Brand in a Virtual World

Engaging in the metaverse using your brand can also start like these big entities. Start by figuring out what your brand can offer to users in the metaverse.

Look into how brands entered the metaverse of gaming platforms recently. Learn from them and create a strategy for your own business.

Think of it as another dimension of life, and start transforming your products and services into the virtual realm. 

The sooner you embrace the future that the metaverse offers to businesses and consumers alike, the sooner you become one of the earliest entrants in this new playing field.

The metaverse is in its growth phase and criticism is rich. There was also a time when YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and other platforms were criticized to be a waste of time, but they’ve now become a stable and coveted revenue stream for a lot of individuals and businesses.

Preparing your business to be on the metaverse as early as now can help you establish and gain early-entrant benefits like a tight community of supporters who will grow with your brand in and out of the metaverse in the future.

Life In The Metaverse

Akin to one of its earliest iterations, Second Life, the future of the metaverse opens up a whole new world for users that almost seems like a whole new life. Here’s what it can be like in the Facebook metaverse.

Life in the facebook Metaverse

Horizon Worlds

Through its purchase of Oculus in 2014, Meta announced the Horizon projects they’re developing for the virtual reality they’re creating.

Horizon Worlds is a platform where users can visit virtual spaces created by others to play games, socialize, and participate in various immersive experiences.

It’s now available to users 18 and up in the US and Canada. Access is through the Quest 2 VR headset and with a Facebook account. With Meta owning this virtual reality space, it’s likely that this will be the company’s main metaverse platform for its users.

Horizon Workrooms is Meta’s virtual reality space that caters to audiences looking for a metaverse space for work and collaboration.

A sneak peek of Workrooms was shown in the Facebook Connect 2021 event. More of it was demonstrated to the public in subsequent interviews conducted by Meta.

It’s also already available to the same audience as Horizon Worlds and is being used by Meta’s teams to connect and collaborate remotely.

Horizon Venues is the Horizon family’s platform that is targeted for massive events like virtual concerts and gaming events. The app is still in development and in its beta early access.

Eventually, Meta aims to provide a seamless experience by fusing the three apps together. Together with their plan to make the technology more accessible, this could truly change the way people connect with each other.

Life in the Facebook metaverse can become one of the biggest online worlds in the future where creators can monetize their talent, and communities can build amazing experiences together.

AR and VR Integrations

More VR and AR integrations are definitely to be expected of the metaverse in the future. Niantic’s Pokemon Go has become one of the most popular augmented reality games since its release.

Ready Player One, a movie based on a fictional and futuristic metaverse, also used augmented reality in its promotion campaign.

For a more practical example of augmented reality in our daily lives, IKEA offers the IKEA Place app which previews a product's measurement and overall fit in your space through your mobile phone.

Lowe’s also introduced the Holoroom How To, a virtual reality experience where the company helps people learn more about DIY skills.

The future holds much for the metaverse as it expands within itself and out to mainstream consumption. These AR and VR integrations by big companies are great examples of businesses adapting to new technologies at an early stage.

Social Experiences Reimagined

Outside of gaming and marketing campaigns, the metaverse also offers a futuristic way of connecting with others. Much like how Meta has Horizon Worlds, other metaverses offer virtual spaces for socialization.

There are lobbies in games that can be used by both VR users and PC users to talk to each other.

Roblox is another popular gaming platform where creators build all kinds of worlds for users. Using a VR headset makes the experience more immersive.

There are in-game spaces built for hanging out with friends and meeting new ones within some of today’s world-building games.

Meta’s move aims to make this immersive socialization experience mainstream and accessible to non-gamers and for productivity purposes.

Today’s metaverse developers foresee a future where casual virtual venues are just as available as cafes, and more events like concerts and even TED Talks are held in the metaverse.

Making Purchases

Most “worlds” come with purchases. This is most common for gamers who encounter in-game purchases for items ultimately paid with real currency traded for in-game tokens or currency.

The future of the metaverse holds the same feature for businesses and consumers alike. Purchasing items on the metaverse and for the metaverse is already possible, and it only looks to expand into other digital spaces.

Current iterations of metaverse transactions mixing with real-life include Gucci’s partnership with Superplastic to produce designer NFTs paired with handcrafted Italian ceramic sculptures. 

Nike and Adidas have also made well-received announcements with their future release of NFT sneakers.

What the Metaverse Means for Businesses

The metaverse opens up near-infinite possibilities for businesses that will participate in the future. 

As exemplified by Gucci’s creation of Vault, and the patenting of other massive entities in preparation for migrating into the metaverse, there’s more than enough potential for businesses to start participating in metaverse projects.

Business in Metaverse

Remote Work and Hybrid Teams

Similar to the Facebook metaverse offering Horizon Workspace, more immersive workspaces will come to reality in the future.

There may still be kanban boards and progress trackers for teams, but collaborating could be done in a more immersive manner.

Working from home could be reimagined for both remote and hybrid teams as going into a metaverse office with their avatar.

Dynamic project boards are also a possibility. Imagine less clicking and more hovering when you’re organizing your workflow?

Augmented reality could also increase workspace efficiency for both remote and in-office workers. Imagine working on five different desks and boards when you physically only have one at home?

Increased Demand for New Skills

The emergence of social media brought about a demand for content creators, social media managers, and other jobs and skills. The expansion of the metaverse into mainstream internet usage can be expected to have the same effect.

More world builders and 3D space designers will get an opportunity to show their talent. Game designers will definitely not be left out. There may also be a rise in demand for 3D experience creators or designers.

This could lead to an entirely new field for designers, engineers, and programmers to collaborate on, or for multidisciplinary teams and engineers to flourish and profit.

Skills with AR and VR design will also become essential for marketers in the next few years as more and more people step into the metaverse.

There’s also definitely a gap that can be filled with data miners or experts who can take care of transacting with various cryptocurrencies and in minting NFTs.

Blockchain experts will definitely be sought out by companies, and the skill will become highly coveted.

New Channels Will Form

The metaverse already promises to change life as we know it. This also goes for how businesses currently connect with people.

Marketing and advertising have already experienced changes due to the expansion of the gaming industry into the metaverse.

From eSports events sponsorships, large companies have delved into creating unique campaigns to connect with the massive audiences within game metaverses.

Fortnite has hosted concert events with musical icons like Ariana Grande and Travis Scott. Wendy’s and Balenciaga have also established their presence on the metaverse through Fortnite.

Roblox has also welcomed brands like Hyundai and Gucci on the platform for unique, branded experiences for its players. The game has also become a venue for musical events with big artists like Lil Nas X and Twenty-One Pilots.

The metaverse thrives through gaming platforms today. With efforts from Meta and Microsoft to take virtual worlds into the mainstream, it’s only a matter of time for metaverse versions of today’s activities to become the norm.

Billboards with AR integration, VR shopping, and more immersive advertising are definitely in the future and should be worked on as early as now.

Avatars could change today’s influencer marketing. Platforms like Horizon Worlds will definitely impact digital marketing and community forums largely.

Then there’s the potential of making email marketing, blogging, and other marketing ad sales activities far more interactive and immersive than they are today.

eCommerce Will Continue to Evolve

One of the most interesting metaverse experiences in the future is in the eCommerce industry. Leading the way in transforming today’s eCommerce with immersive experiences are Sephora, Warby Parker, IKEA, and Wanna Kicks.

As more businesses step into the immersive shared space that is the metaverse, more innovations with AR and VR can be expected.

This is an exciting time for both consumers and businesses to see how shopping and selling in the metaverse can affect how we do it today.

What the world knows so far is that products that have 3D/AR interaction produce a conversion rate 94% higher than products without 3D/AR.

The Role of NFTs and Cryptocurrencies in the Metaverse

NFTs, Crytocurrencies, Blockchains web 3.0

Metaverse conversations almost always have mentions of blockchain, NFTs, cryptocurrencies, or a combination of all three.

Here’s a quick rundown on their relationship and why you should pay attention.

Cryptocurrencies are digital currencies used to trade online today. Compared to NFTs, cryptocurrencies are fungible, meaning one sum can be exchanged for another of equal value.

Really, cryptocurrency can be easily described as digital money. The difference is that physical currencies are regulated by banks and governments, and cryptocurrencies are not.

Non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, are digital pieces of information unique to the digital and sometimes physical asset that it is attached to.

Its non-fungibility means replication is virtually impossible. A pair of authentic digital sneakers can be replicated but will have two different NFTs indicating separate records of authenticity and ownership for each pair.

This concept or practice is currently being applied to most items in the metaverse today.

The purchase of one digital art NFT using cryptocurrency will forever be recorded on the blockchain once it is accomplished. The public has a record of who owns what and the value of that property.

The first Tweet ever has been sold as an NFT for $2.9 million and is now owned by Bridge Oracle CEO Sina Estavi.

Ownership via NFTs is possible because of blockchain technology. When the first Tweet is once again sold, the transfer of ownership will be recorded in the global blockchain.

Blockchain Technology and the Metaverse

Both cryptocurrencies and NFTs use blockchain technology to keep records of transactions and maintain authenticity and security.

A blockchain is a digital ledger or a virtual record of transactions on the internet. Blockchain technology is used in trading NFTs and cryptocurrencies around the world.

The uniqueness of blockchain technology is that it uses a publicly distributed virtual record or ledger of all the transactions.

Being decentralized, blockchain technology becomes more secure as there’s more than one institution holding records of transactions.

Decentralization means that publicly distributed ledgers can be used to check accuracies in transactions and hold parties accountable.

This is what happens all over the world when people use cryptocurrencies and trade NFTs.

Blockchain, NFTs, and cryptocurrencies not only apply to collectibles. One day, common goods and services will have NFTs as more businesses step into the metaverse.

Today, people already use cryptocurrencies in making online transactions, while NFTs are used to sell art and high-end goods. Blockchain technology is also being used in million-dollar real estate transactions in the metaverse.

Web 3.0, Decentralization, and the Metaverse

This decentralized manner of interaction over the internet is seen to be a fundamental building block of Web 3.0. Basically, the internet as we know it is also evolving.

In and out of the metaverse, decentralization is seen to hold the future of the world wide web. With Web 2.0 emerging from static pages of Web 1.0, centralized monetization and management of massive online platforms may not be a thing in Web 3.0.

With blockchain proving to be a reliable decentralization tool, the world is closer to seeing what web 3.0 really looks like. 

The future of the internet is predicted to still have user-generated content and monetization, but control of data and security is back to its users, dispersed from large corporations.

As of now, Google has announced a ban on third-party cookies, prompting companies to come up with better ways to find specific groups of users.

The emergence of Web 3.0 then calls for businesses to find ways to attract and retain users in an era where users will have more control over their personal data.

In a nutshell, blockchain tech’s decentralization of information gives control back to the users and promises to shift in how and what data can be used to make a profit in the future. 

The Metaverse and Virtual Assistants: What Will Change?

Virtudesk warmly welcomes the innovations promised by the emergence of the metaverse into the mainstream experience.

The Facebook metaverse could become a great way to help hybrid teams with virtual assistants come together and collaborate more seamlessly.

It’s also a great opportunity for marketing virtual assistants to challenge their creativity in innovating digital experiences and products for the future.

Perhaps a collaboration between video editing virtual assistants and content creation virtual assistants could be key to starting out in developing 3D, AR, or VR experiences in the near future.

Moreover, experience development and world creation could give rise to a new wave of virtual assistants who specialize in metaverse workplace management.

There’s also the chance of a whole new industry rising from within the collective, immersive digital space of the future.

Bottom Line

Far beyond the Facebook metaverse, the future holds so much for everyone. With information on one of the most prominent paths the world may take in the near future, it could be very wise for everyone to stay updated on metaverse developments.

Keeping a consistent effort in metaverse business development could mean staying two to three steps ahead of the competition for companies today.

Hiring an eCommerce virtual assistant to focus on blockchain transactions or develop immersive experiences could be one way of doing so.

Video editing and content creation virtual assistants could also provide the extra help needed by your team to keep the gears moving for when the metaverse becomes mainstream.

A marketing virtual assistant can also work on researching and developing opportunities for your business to enter the metaverse.

A team of virtual assistants could become your company’s way to successfully entering the metaverse with a low impact on your finances.

If you’re interested in working with professional and adaptable virtual assistants, fill out this form and one of our Consultants will get in touch with you. See you in the metaverse!

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