After Microsoft plunked down over $67 billion in an astounding deal for Activision Blizzard to jump-start 2022, I think it is fair to say the public will be hearing a lot more about the metaverse for years to come, like it or not.

If you ask Facebook’s founder, Mark Zuckerberg, who made a massive bet on the metaverse by renaming his social networking behemoth to Meta, that is exactly what he would want. Zuckerberg and Meta are not alone in this ambitious journey. Google has been working on its own metaverse-related technology for years and Apple has its own metaverse-related ambitions in the works.

However, there are critics who are taking a more measured approach. For every moonshot idea like the metaverse, there are countless busts that take the tech industry by storm and die just as quickly. Does Google’s glass experiment ring a bell?

The metaverse feels like a different beast thanks to a head start in interest and fandom with various VR and AR projects that have taken off over the last decade.

How Big Can The Metaverse Be?

That is the billion or likely, one day, the trillion-dollar question that Meta, Microsoft, Apple and other companies are racing toward answering.

For early adopters of the metaverse, it is hopefully the second coming of a new digital revolution that has not been seen since the early days of the internet’s dot-com boom. There are many entertainment factors tied to the metaverse that consumers love. What these companies are chasing is the enormous dollar figure that comes with it.

Matthew Ball, CEO of Epyllion, might be one of the more bullish spectators as it relates to the metaverse’s market potential.

He sees the metaverse becoming a $10 trillion to $30 trillion opportunity, saying: “Even if you have more modest expectations, precedent from the digital economy, the internet, the mobile internet, suggests that this is a $10 [trillion] to $30 trillion opportunity that will manifest in a decade or a decade and a half.”

What Opportunities Will The Metaverse Present?

It is no surprise that the gaming and entertainment industries have been the early winners of the metaverse race so far. For the metaverse to truly explode on a mainstream level and reach its true potential, it will have to branch out much further.

There are endless verticals that are showing the metaverse’s unique potential and lucrative opportunities – one of these being luxury brands and retailers.

If the ongoing pandemic has taught retailers anything, it became a critical mission that they try new ways of doing things and embrace change like never before. Retailers that were able to pivot to new tech-focused strategies and digital-first options were able to better weather the storm than most.

Louis Vuitton and Ralph Lauren are running with this trend in a very serious way and moving quickly to capitalize on the opportunity to sell virtual versions of their products to people in the metaverse.

This is one of Zuckerberg’s biggest selling points of the metaverse and a point he is pushing aggressively in public forums, recently saying: “Avatars will be as common as profile pictures today, but instead of a static image, they're going to be living 3D representations of you, your expressions, your gestures that are going to make interactions much richer than anything that's possible online today. You'll probably have a photo-realistic avatar for work, a stylized one for hanging out and maybe even a fantasy one for gaming.”

Is The Hype Real?

In short, yes.

With so many major companies and players already involved that have built seven-figure-plus use cases and investments, it is almost impossible not to be optimistic about the metaverse’s potential on several levels.

We are only in the first inning of a very long metaverse game. If the first few at-bats showed us anything, the metaverse is a serious digital disruption that will change our virtual world.

Austin Rotter is a strategic digital marketing strategist with over a decade of experience working with clients ranging from Fortune 100 brands to hyper-growth companies. To reach Rotter, visit:   https://austinrotter.com/.