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December 7th 2022

Back to the Future, Part I:
Getting ahead of the metaverse curve

By Chris Scott | Chief Digital Officer

Web 3.0 is the biggest transformation in how we consume digital content since... well, web 2.0. And we’re told that the metaverse is going to revolutionise our lives. But what does this all mean for your business today?

So… what is this metaverse? 

Perhaps surprisingly, the metaverse is not one single thing, but a mixture of multiple advances. In fact, it is the continuously evolving Mixed (MR), Extended (XR), Virtual (VR), and Augmented (AR) reality technologies – and the virtual worlds yet to emerge – that make the metaverse such an exciting space. 

The metaverse is really both a 3D, online world and an extension of our physical environment.

The metaverse is really both a 3D, online world and an extension of our physical environment. It’s an immersive place where avatars represent a person’s reality, such as in Mesh for Microsoft Teams. It’s somewhere you exchange virtual currencies mined using the complexity of blockchain. A place you go to purchase NFTs and exclusive experiences.

And for B2B brands, the metaverse looks set to grow and grow. Gartner estimate that 25% of people will spend part of every day there by 2026, while Citi forecast the metaverse will be worth $13trillion by 2030. 

Think of the metaverse as the internet of virtual reality – where people can come together from various corners of the universe to interact, trade, and do business - Forbes

“Wait a minute… Are you telling me a time machine was built out of… the internet?”

Becoming involved in the metaverse could indeed allow us to play a part in history, quite literally. Using technological advances, we’re increasingly moving away from books, TV documentaries and 2D resources for insight. Instead, we might transport into a specific environment, to experience it as it was at a particular point in time, remarkably like the time travel of the movie world. The metaverse will allow us to immerse ourselves fully within the wider context of events.

And in the future, Web 3.0 networks will transport us into ‘as live’ scenarios. Sensory advances will play more and more of a part in making our experiences feel almost entirely real. Our everyday lives will begin to merge seamlessly with the virtual environments we choose to be a part of.

So, Web 3.0 and metaverse are the same thing, right?

Wrong. Web 3.0 refers to a decentralised web built only on blockchain technology. By definition, Web 3.0 comes with inherent traceability, accountability, and exclusive ownership of asset creation. Built on peer-to-peer network environments, with no one central control mechanism, Web 3.0 connects users with the online services they seek – in the worlds of the metaverse.

Web 3.0 can be seen as the road to the metaverse. In a recent example of Web 3.0 decentralised access, Mastodon has seen users seek alternatives to Twitter. Mastodon is not a single entity. It is a whole network of multiple, interconnected and decentralised servers, without single, central control. 

Although the metaverse and Web 3.0 are inextricably linked, they’re not the same. Web 3.0 technology provides access to the collective of enhanced, immersive experiences, known as ‘the metaverse’. Both the metaverse and Web 3.0 have the scope to advance way beyond their current iterations today.

“Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.”

Together, innovations in Web 3.0 and the metaverse will shape the future of the internet. Soon they’ll offer the chance to intensify our day-to-day life experiences.

… competing in this next decade will require… a truly competitive vision…Technology points us in the right direction, but the rest is up to you. Accenture

What the metaverse does promise is the kind of innovation, engagement, and experience that buyers dream of. And the technologies available today can absolutely enhance experiences for customers. By offering exclusive experiences and stand-out interactions, B2B brands can build and develop deeper connections with buyers. At this stage, it’s enough to be a part of the right conversations at the right time.


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To find out more about separating metaverse fact from fiction, check out our ‘Mythbusting for B2B brands’ resource.