There is no widely accepted definition of Metaverse and it can sometimes feel like a topical buzzword that is thrown around, without ever really coming to life.
The way I see it, the Metaverse is where Virtual Reality meets Social Media.
It is a virtual space where people meet, create and interact, just like with Instagram, Facebook or X. But the difference is that the interactions are happening in a fully immersive 3D space, usually through Virtual Reality headsets.
The obvious flaw here is that the Metaverse can lose its spontaneity. Wearing a headset, connecting, logging in, loading, and so on, all takes time. And most of us do not carry a VR headset around with us. Currently it is just not a very exciting, accessible or easy experience. It can feel like a gimmick and if we look at current operational Metaverses.
What the Metaverse needs to succeed is through advancements in technology, starting from VR headset as well as internet speeds. And to really get people excited it needs to be fun.
That leads to one of the most important points; everyone carries a smartphone around, which made the rise of social media possible in the first place. The Metaverse needs that technological breakthrough to see mass adoption, be it in the consumer or business space.
I think we will see a Mixed Reality Metaverse, where conventional screen-based social media platforms integrate VR capabilities, and the user will be able to navigate from one experience to the other, resulting in an experience that is immersive on demand but also keeps the casual nature of current social media.
As technologies improve, I expect these two experiences to blend more and more into one seamless experience.