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📉 What people think
Would you like to participate in VR groups to socialize or for professional networking? Only one in eight answers 'yes'. Most - six out of ten - answer 'no'. But the question is for how long...
📈 Here are the facts
- Last year the company Meta, formerly Facebook, launched its VR platform Horizon Worlds.
- Over 10,000 different "worlds" have already been created.
- The number of users has increased tenfold in three months and today Horizon is populated by 300,000 users.
- If the popularity of social media 1.0 tells us anything, most of us will, sooner or later, be in this next generation of social media. Today nearly 3 billion people use Facebook on a monthly basis. Other platforms, such as Tiktok, Instagram, or Twitter have become part of our everyday lives.
💡 Optimist's Edge
Are you ready to dive into Horizon Worlds? Maybe the animated images from there remind you of the latest Disney movie. But keep in mind that behind every "cartoon character", every avatar, there is a real human being. It's a person with a headset on and who is there for a reason. What will be your purpose in exploring virtual reality?
💡 The big advantage of a virtual world is that you can meet anyone or do anything, without the constraints of the physical world. Distance and borders don’t matter.
Meeting friends – old and new – is of course an obvious activity. Regardless of the distance, you can attend various events such as a concert or basketball game together. Or watch the same TV series, play games, or go to a gym class.
Networking and meetings. Do you remember the early days of Twitter when it was possible to get in touch with almost "anyone" – politicians, writers, or celebrities – who were interested in participating in discussions on some topic? In the virtual world, you will be able to stand face to face with people you’ve always wanted to meet. Maybe a lecturer who inspired you? Or an investor who might contribute to your startup? And of course, no matter where in the world you and your colleagues are, you will be able to meet and discuss your latest project.
Build worlds. What would you like to create? Virtual building materials are free and you can create things that are physically impossible in the real world. This also means great opportunities for companies to market themselves by showing different products or doing activities for their customers.
These are just a few examples of what the virtual worlds could be used for. Remember when we started using Facebook. From the hesitant "poke" of the early days, a large number of groups and activities have emerged. You can exchange, borrow and sell things. You can learn more about cooking, keeping chickens, or programming. There are groups to contribute to different types of charity work and a wide range of events and lectures.
These are definitely some of the different activities that we will also see in the VR worlds, but with a more complete and immersive experience. There are also those who believe that social media 2.0 will be more social in the true sense of the word than its predecessors. Instead of chasing likes, the 3D worlds will be more about actually participating. Welcome to a world without borders and with endless possibilities.
Many of the things mentioned are activities that exist in the “real world” too, but in a digital world information is instant, physical distance is no longer an obstacle and the usual scarcity doesn’t exist. Everyone can have the best teacher. Events are not sold out. Finding something doesn’t take time. And collaborating can be done on a scale impossible in the “real world”.
When more people interact in this way we will save time and resources. Take for example visiting an academic conference or having a business meeting in another city. In the old days that would mean a lot of time, resources, and money spent on flights, hotel nights, and waiting. Now those days could be reduced to a few hours when you engage in the actual purpose of the meeting. That money and time saved could then be spent on your research, developing better products, or playing with your children.
👇 How to get the Optimist's Edge
Whether you run a business or are just curious about social media 2.0 for private reasons, there are great benefits to getting acquainted with the new technology early on. Here's what you need to become a super early adopter in the Horizon Worlds:
- Sign up. For this, you need to live in the US or Canada, but the plan is, of course, to open up the platform to users around the world. When it will happen is not clear so make sure to stay updated on the latest news.
- Get a VR headset. For example on Oculus Quest 2.
- Get a job. Meta has announced that they will create 10 000 jobs in the EU to build their virtual world.
You now have an advantage because you have gained this knowledge before most others –