Not long ago, the metaverse was heralded as the next big wave. The hype and excitement went over the roof when Facebook rebranded to Meta, in connection with the purported new iteration and future of the internet.
However, things haven’t gone smoothly since then. Meta has suffered astronomical setbacks in its Metaverse investment and recent updates from the company now ignore the Metaverse term.
But now, a report has revealed a more interesting angle to the technology’s decline. According to a new Stocksapp study, search queries related to the Metaverse have dropped by a staggering 71%, in just one year.
Looking at recent figures, it is apparent that interest in the possession of virtual lands and assets has diminished dramatically. Revenues have nose-dived coupled with a shrinking number of active traders, and the future of the metaverse appears increasingly uncertain.
In retrospect, looking at where the Metaverse movement started and where it currently is, one could be right to think that the hype surrounding the purported future of the internet was premature. This is because, looking at these stats, there is an indication of a bubble burst.
More on the StockApps report
According to the figures in the report, the term “metaverse” reached its peak in global search interest In September 2023. It recorded a 90/100 mark on Google Trends’ popularity index and that surge was largely attributed to the earlier mentioned Meta’s announcement of rebranding and its ambitious plans for the technology.
But in a not-so-favorable trend, the popularity index for the term “metaverse” stands at just 24 in September 2023. This indicates a 71% decline in just a year and a sharp contrast to the heightened interest seen in late 2021 and 2022.
What is the cause of this Metaverse decline?
There are many factors contributing to the decline of the digital realm. Recently, there were reports that Meta pivoted away from its metaverse ambitions which led to a broader decline of enthusiasm around virtual worlds and raised critical questions about the concept’s viability.
The metaverse was once considered a goldmine for tech companies, investors, and users. In this connection, industry players like Meta invested heavily in developing virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies. Still, after a series of losses from the experiment, it had to make a U-turn.
That move raised concerns about the long-term value of such investments and called into question virtual worlds’ sustainability as a revenue-generating model.
Additionally, the emergence of Artificial Intelligence, now widely regarded as the ‘New Frontier’ has not helped matters. Google, Apple, and Amazon now prioritise AI-driven innovations, and it has begun to permeate various sectors, from healthcare to finance.
This broad range of applications lends AI an edge over virtual reality, which remains confined mainly to gaming and entertainment. As the metaverse’s star fades, artificial intelligence is emerging as a frontrunner in the tech race.
Just as mentioned above, the decline of Decentraland and Meta’s covert withdrawal from metaverse plans paint grim pictures of the future of virtual worlds, and with AI gaining momentum, the metaverse may struggle to remain relevant, at least in the short term.
As interest in virtual real estate plummets and AI takes centre stage, companies that once championed the metaverse may need to reevaluate their strategies and explore alternative opportunities as what was once a symbol of boundless digital potential now faces an uncertain future.
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