Bringing tangible human connection back to business through VR and AR experiences.
Zuckerberg and the Facebook team have been quietly working behind the scenes to create what we know as Meta, the metaverse. The vision is to connect people anywhere in a tangible way that humanizes the experience. And make the experience accessible to everyone. And the potential for existing business and new business opportunities within the metaverse is astronomical.
Here are the top 5 ways I see Meta transforming business now and in the future that we need to be ready for.
1. Meta Is Poised To Remove Facebook Ads Targeting Options From Four Categories, January 19, 2022
In response to raising concerns about privacy, businesses can no longer target ads based on social causes, health issues or what are considered sensitive demographics.
Effective on January 19th, 2022, brands will no longer be able to target their ads based on:
- Health causes (e.g. breast cancer awareness).
- Sexual orientation (e.g. LGBTQ+).
- Religious practices and groups (e.g. Roman Catholic, atheist)
- Political beliefs, social issues, causes, organizations, or figures (e.g. political party or political candidate, climate change).
Meta states that if you already have ad campaigns impacted by this change, they will be allowed to continue and even edited at the campaign level until March.
While on the one hand, this is a good thing for users and consumers who share their political and social views on social media but don’t want to be targeted by marketers because of it. On the other, we can expect to see even more poorly targeted ads in our feeds.
On the business side, removing “sensitive” demographics from ad targeting could increase wasted ad spend because our ads are displayed in the feeds of people who have no interest in our products or services. So we just have to get more creative in how we market to our target audiences—for example, engaging in and creating Facebook groups and sub-groups, rooms, and so on.
With Facebook, in particular, under severe scrutiny over data and privacy, it’s no surprise that they were the first to make these changes.
But they won’t be the last.
I expect all other online advertising platforms and apps to follow suit and remove sensitive demographics from ad targeting as the year progresses.
2. E-Commerce Revolutionized With VR and Augmented Reality
The internet and social media have already revolutionized how we shop and where. A mixed reality that combines the Virtual with the Real has already entered our shopping experience. We can virtually try on glasses, hairstyles, clothing, and makeup looks before buying.
Currently, you can design a space using your existing space. Select colors, finishes, cabinets, and decor, and keep doing it until you find what you like before buying. You can see what a piece of furniture would look like in your living room or go on a virtual tour of an art gallery. And so much more.
Learn more about the latest trends in social shopping by reading 6 Biggest Instagram Trends To Leverage For Business Growth In 2022
Meta aspires to use the mixed reality experience to make online shopping fully immersive and interactive. Just think about it.
Today our social media marketing consists of posting, advertising, and engaging in comments and DMs. We post images and videos educating people about our products and services and entertaining our audience. They like, share and maybe comment. They might click the link in our post and visit our IG shop or website. They may even buy. But our only way to connect and engage people in a conversation is to reply in the comments using text, short audio, or video messages, or shift to a video call.
With VR and AR, we can invite our followers and fans into a 3D fully immersive space that feels, smells, and looks like our brand. We can talk to them as our avatar (which will eventually look like us, if we want) and show them the products or services in real-time, and they can experience them with us. It’s like having them come to our office or shop. The difference is that you and your followers can come to your shop from anywhere at any time using VR technology.
The Ways We Can Monetize Our Social Media In The Metaverse Are Limitless
Think about all the ways we can monetize our social media in the metaverse. We can create exclusive virtual or augmented reality rooms that feel real. Our room can be a paid, invite-only space where we launch a new product or service, have a promotion, or hold an event. Our creators or we can create the perfect atmosphere and mood, ensuring our guests enjoy an immersive sampling and purchasing experience.
Customers can try our products or services from our posts and shop. They can do that now in 2D from their screens but imagine that in 3D where you can touch, smell, taste, and experience it? We can engage in real-time conversations in person using VR and AR whether they live across the street or the globe. How powerful would that be?
The growth potential for businesses is mind-blowing, and then there are the businesses that can emerge based on creating those experiences. 🤯
3. Meta Ushers In A Creator-Led Commerce Revolution
We know that social media platforms are focused on helping creators monetize their efforts. With AR and VR, the opportunities for creators to be rewarded monetarily for their work is limitless. If you’re a creator, the metaverse will provide incredible opportunities for you. From creating the avatars, spaces, and worlds for users to creating the content businesses and entrepreneurs need to grow their businesses in the metaverse.
Brands and businesses are creators who already generate revenue from their efforts. With the metaverse, their ability to grow exponentially becomes a reality.
Creators have incredible opportunities within the metaverse, including:
- Creating and selling Avatars, their clothing, and accessories
- Creating Rooms and virtual spaces for business to happen
- Creating and selling virtual environments for commerce, business, escape, entertainment, fitness, and play
Everything needed in the metaverse can be created by independent Creators who can monetize it through subscriptions, selling, and rental fees. While creators today are highly skilled, eventually, anyone will be able to be creators using a series of taps, clicks, drags, and drops.
The Meta Offers Fully Immersive Personalized Buying And Selling Experiences
Whether selling digital or physical products, a fully immersive experience is powerful. It’s why salespeople, in-person consultations, and live events remain the pinnacle of marketing and have been a roadblock for many artists, service providers, and businesses during the pandemic.
Meta spends billions of dollars and countless hours to bring that physical human connection and immersive experience back and take it to levels unheard of outside of the sci-fi genre. Think Black Mirror actualized.
Today, we can shop online and virtually try things and see them in 3D on a 2D screen. Eventually, we will be able to share our products and services with our customers and followers in a mixed reality world. They will be able to touch, smell, taste, put on, and interact with our products and us (as ourselves, not a cartoon avatar), using small, comfortable wearables.
While a completely immersive virtual experience is decades away, steps toward 3D Commerce are being made already, and it is coming, so we need to be ready.
4. Meta Brings New Business Models And Imaginable Business Opportunities
The metaverse promises to support all business models and allow creators and entrepreneurs the freedom to find a business model that works for them, including:
- Custom work
- Other monetization tools that may only make sense in the metaverse
Many of these business models and monetization opportunities already exist on Facebook, Instagram, and virtually every social and streaming platform out there. However, the way we leverage them and the businesses created in the metaverse will transform the world of work and business.
5. The Metaverse Will Revolutionize Where And How We Do Business
Over the last year or so, Facebook has been rolling out various virtual experiences with Horizon Worlds, Horizon Home, Oculus Quest for VR and AR gaming, and now Horizon Workrooms and Workspaces.
Meta teamed up with VMWare to create Horizon Workspaces where you can create an at-the-office experience at home that is integrated with your office CRMs and productivity tools. With Horizon Workrooms, you have all the collaborative tools at your fingertips, enabling you to work with your team in a virtual space in real-time. According to Meta:
“Workrooms brings some of our best new technologies together for the first time into one experience on Quest 2. Using features like mixed-reality desk and keyboard tracking, hand tracking, remote desktop streaming, video conferencing integration, spatial audio, and the new Oculus Avatars, we’ve created a different kind of productivity experience.”
It’s free to download on Quest 2, so check it out:)
Horizon Workrooms features bring your home office into your work office:
- Bring your desk, computer, and keyboard into VR with you and use them
- Feel like you’re together with avatars and spatial audio
- A virtual whiteboard as big as your ideas
- You can configure the virtual room’s layout to match your needs.
- Join in VR or by video call
- Designed to use your hands
- Meeting notes, file sharing, calendar integration, and chat
With outsourcing and working from home or hybrid work environments becoming the norm, Horizon Workrooms and Workspaces enable teams to connect and collaborate in the same space virtually, which is pretty exciting. Imagine how much more productive your team would be if you held regular team meetings like that?
Virtual, Mixed Reality Workspaces Will Transform How We Conduct Business
Consider how more impactful meetings with clients can be when you meet in your “office” or go for a virtual coffee using virtual and augmented reality. Virtual and augmented reality are the closest we can get to authentic, in-person conversations and connections. And transcends physical boundaries; we can connect with people anywhere and any time. It humanizes the experience, which is what I love about it.
I don’t know about you, but I am pretty Zoomed out. While it’s better than texting or voice conferencing, it still feels flat, sterile, and disconnected. So I am looking forward to seeing mixed reality workspaces becoming affordable and accessible to everyone. Aren’t You?
Final Thoughts On Meta And Business
1. Keep Doing What You Do To Grow Your Business And You’ll Be Ready For The metaverse
Although the metaverse envisioned is still decades away, Zuckerberg believes that the “metaverse will be the biggest opportunity for modern business since the creation of the internet. It’s the next evolution of digital platforms and the successor to today’s mobile internet.” And I agree.
We are already seeing glimmers of the metaverse today with breakout clips and adding 3D dimensions to our posts. But it’s important not to get shiny object syndrome, stressed, or overwhelmed with all the new skills you have to learn to stay relevant in the metaverse. It will happen gradually over decades so you will be ready, I assure you.
2. The Metaverse Will Be Co-Created And Responsibility Built-In
Zuckerberg learned from his many failings with Facebook how crucial it is to have privacy and responsible use woven in from the beginning.
This is good for us as users of Meta but also for our followers, friends, and customers connecting with us. We all gain peace of mind knowing that whatever people share with us and we with them is safe. And the ownership piece is a MASSIVE leap forward.
Zuck and the Meta team put great emphasis on prioritizing ownership in the metaverse. Meta assures that the data, products, and services that we put out into the metaverse and whatever we buy is ours and ours alone. Which is HUGE, right?
3. The 2D Apps We Use Today Are The Bridge To The Metaverse
Remember that the metaverse is an evolution of the 2D apps and platforms we are already using. So stay focused on the social media and marketing tools and skills you use now to grow your business as they are the foundation you need to grow your business in the metaverse.
And if you need a little help along the way, I am here for you.
Here is the link to Zuck’s Keynote presentation on the metaverse so you can watch it for yourself. It’s about 2 hours long but nicely divided so you can skip to the topics that matter most to you and your business.
I’ll keep sharing news and insights about Facebook and Meta as innovations are introduced and help you navigate the world of social media marketing to grow your business.