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If you could be anything in the world… what would you be? Would you be the same person that your colleagues see at work, the person your friends know, or something completely different?
Since the internet was created, users have been able to experiment with their identity, and express themselves in ways that they previously couldn’t (or wouldn’t) in the real world. Usernames, bios, personas, and avatars have all been important ways for people to manage their online identities, whether it’s altering them slightly, or indulging in wild experiments.
In 2023, we’ll see this enter a new stage, as increasingly popular virtual worlds like Fortnite and Roblox provide more tools for identity play. Drawing on some clues from internet history, and insights about the people who currently use these spaces, here’s what you should know in the year ahead.
Compared to the average American, those interested in the metaverse are over 3x more likely to buy products/services to access the community built around them, and over 4x more likely to buy tech products as soon as they’re available. They’re a confident, affluent, and risk-taking group who want to be the first to try new things. But for these reasons, attention needs to be paid to how the metaverse is beginning to take shape.
These interested Americans may be the first to take virtual steps in the metaverse, but they don’t represent all those who actually prefer to spend their time online, rather than in the real world. Consumers in that latter group are more likely to be low income, part of the LGBTQ+ community, and have a physical disability. Success in 2023 means ensuring their needs are catered for in virtual spaces.
Selling a branded t-shirt in a virtual world isn’t enough, but giving users the tools to become whoever they want to be, with the freedom to change, is the real currency.
Consumers have been spread thin owing to the macroeconomic climate, and now have more modest ambitions and perceptions of themselves.
Americans are dealing with a lot coming out of the pandemic. So, they’re looking to media to give them some hope and, at the very least, an outlet for their emotions.
America’s landscape is in flux. Social justice fatigue might be setting in. How can brands hit the mark?
Although environmental pessimism is on the up, worry remains stable. Repeated exposure to the situation is causing climate change fatigue.