Not a day goes by without a company announcing its entry into the metaverse, this immersive universe which, for its supporters, promises to be the next generation of the Internet. Many see it as an opportunity to expand their income while getting closer to the Zs, their favorite target. The investment bank Piper Sandler questioned 7,100 American teenagers, whose average age is 16, about their relationship with this emerging sector.
It is clear that it does not pique their interest. Half of those surveyed say they weren’t sure, or had no intention at the moment, of buying a device to access these parallel universes. Only 9% plan to get a virtual reality headset in the coming months. But all hope is not lost: a quarter of respondents (26%) have in their possession equipment allowing them to go to the metaverse. A third of these teenagers use it occasionally to explore this virtual world, where you can buy a replica of Paris Hilton’s ‘martini’ flask bag, for example.
These figures cast a shadow over the plans of Meta (ex-Facebook) and other companies that have given themselves the mission of contributing to the emergence of the metaverse. Mark Zuckerberg’s group recently announced its intention to offer content creators the possibility of selling virtual objects to users of Horizon Worlds, its main augmented reality platform.
Although young Americans do not yet show a great interest in this technology, they could be interested in it through the prism of video games. 68% of teenagers surveyed by Piper Sandler describe themselves as gamers, which makes them the ideal target for companies wishing to invest in the metaverse. If this digital space of the future is still in its infancy, video game players have already given it a certain depth. The proof with Fortnite. The game has been hosting virtual concerts for international stars like Travis Scott, Zara Larsson and Ariana Grande for two years now. Mega-events followed, each time, by tens of millions of players.
Cryptocurrencies and NFTs, two other blockchain-related innovations, can also be gateways to the metaverse. But not for American teenagers. Only 11% and 8% of young people surveyed by Piper Sandler have, respectively, purchased virtual currencies or non-fungible tokens. However, many more of them are familiar with these new technologies… and therefore potentially take the plunge.