metaverse 5
Raleigh Addington
Raleigh Addington
editor at Chartwell Speakers

Last October, Facebook changed its name to Meta to reflect its focus on building a universal and immersive virtual world. Mark Zuckerberg envisions the project as the future of the internet. One is loath to doubt the long-term strategic vision of one of the world’s greatest entrepreneurs but there are rumblings of discontent. In April, Business Insider reported that meta employees were growing frustrated with Zuckerberg’s metaverse ‘obsession’. 

The company faces unfortunate headwinds as it seeks to grow the concept. Long-time COO, Sheryl Sandberg, stepped down in June. Last week, Meta blamed macroeconomic pressures for its first year-on-year quarterly revenue decline. Commentators are questioning whether the initial hype around the metaverse (including similar iterations from Microsoft and Apple) may have been overstated. The explosive speculation peaked during a time of Covid uncertainty when the world felt particularly receptive to a safer life in the virtual world. As life returns to something clearly resembling pre-pandemic normality, the virtual retreat has lost its appeal. 

This view is echoed by Philip Rosedale, who as the founder of metaverse precursor, Second Life, can genuinely claim to be a pioneer in this space. His virtual world still remains highly popular with over 70m users and he is sceptical about the potential of new competitors. He doubts whether the average adult is comfortable or interested in spending time as an animated avatar in 3D worlds. 

However, Zuckerberg is clearly not deterred by early teething problems. His sister, Randi, was one of Facebook’s earliest employees. She says there are “tremendous opportunities” in the metaverse that brands are already beginning to realise. $500m worth of real estate was sold in the metaverse in just the first 3 months of 2022. Randi also says the hardware needed to access the metaverse will get simpler, making the whole experience less cumbersome for users.

Chartwell has a strong roster of experts on the metaverse that we can arrange to speak at your event including:

philip rosedale headshot

Philip Rosedale

Metaverse pioneer and creator of Second Life, the online virtual reality world.

Randi Zuckerberg Speaker

Randi Zuckerberg

Former Director of Marketing at Facebook and expert on the future of social media.

Dror Poleg

Founder of Hype-Free Crypto and author on the future of work, money and cities.

Cathy Hackl

Leading tech futurist and Founder of the Futures Intelligence Group.

Matthew Ball

Author of ‘The Metaverse: And How It Will Revolutionize Everything’

For more speakers on the metaverse, please see here.

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