Creators in the Metaverse: How Creators are Driving Virtual Spaces | Techsauce

Creators in the Metaverse: How Creators are Driving Virtual Spaces

With so much excitement about the metaverse, there are an equal number of skeptics and cynics who wonder why there’s such a powerful economy for things that exist solely online. 

McKinsey estimates that metaverse spending in 2022 will be $120Billion. With online real estate making real money and online fashion growing as an industry, there’s an entire market that is more than it appears to the casual observer.

Rudy Lee, Chief Strategy Officer at Naver Z, and Head of Global Business at Zepeto, shared his thoughts on the creator culture that drives the metaverse economy.

Rudy started out by sharing his observations that there are two things that drive creation. 

  • Incentivization, specifically financial incentivization. The financial incentive of a virtual world is what makes creators productive. Spending time creating in one space means less time to do other things. Humans are always looking for ways to improve our time and efficiency so the possibility for creators to do what they enjoy while also making money scratches this itch. 
  • Tied into that driver is the concept of finite time and the exploration of alternate realities. As humans, we’re constantly aware of our own mortality. The “exploration of alternate realities, whether it’s in the form of the afterlife, of deities, or aliens, we’ve always been interested in a different reality where we can transcend this physical form we are born with and which we have no choice over”. Alternate realities allow us to imagine spaces for a wider impact. A place to explore other realities. 

Therefore, he argued, the draw of the metaverse is a reflection of these two impulses.

How are creators doing it?

Rudy really wanted the audience to understand that the metaverse was driven by the creators. At Zepeto, they considered the possibility for highly customizable, smooth, and slick avatars. They released their beta based on this presumption and then in a month had 10 Million downloads without spending on marketing. Virality fueled the early growth. By creating the tools and then the immersive social platform for sharing the creations, they enabled users to become creators and those creators were what lead to sustained growth.

One fun anecdote that Rudy shared was that, in addition to the fashion and architecture creators, they have users who share their music through the persona of their avatars. This music community has became a significant sub-group which they hadn’t considered when developing the program.

So while Zepeto offered a platform to use new technology to create, what they (and their users) ended up getting out of it was an ecosystem of creators who each use the space in a unique and sometimes unanticipated way.

Increasing opportunities

Rudy shared a story about one early creator who wanted to work in fashion, but found that her life, education, and connections didn’t facilitate that career choice. She started designing virtual fashion on Zepeto and after about a year, she was making a million dollars a year and fashion brands were approaching her to collaborate.

Big brands are seeing the metaverse and these creator-rich spaces as places for cutting-edge trend setting.

“They view us as a branding and marketing opportunity […] They value the fact that we offer a platform for people to make things, make money off of that, and express themselves.”

An abundance of creative development enables rapid ideation. In fact, even popular celebrities are using the metaverse as a way to connect with fans globally.

Working past the limitations of the natural world

Rudy reminded the audience that to purchase and wear an outfit on an avatar is quicker and more sustainable. The metaverse has turned into a tool to help you realize your desires in an efficient way. 

A new medium for tech-driven content

One key highlight was when Rudy turned back the clock and shared a historical snapshot. It depicted one of the first movies ever made called “The Arrival of a Train '' where a train comes directly towards the camera. In the image Rudy shared, people were jumping out of the way of the moving train. The moving train was on the film screen but without ever having experienced moving pictures, many cinemagoers feared being run over. He reminded us that, since then, the film and television industries have grown and they’re industries that “advance tech-driven content” but there’s still something missing.

“It’s not my life, it’s not real, it’s not connected to me”

A movie on TV is able to tell someone else’s story but it’s still not connected to the user’s unique experience. The metaverse, however, is also advancing tech-driven content but it’s so much more connected to real life. It can be a true expression of your identity and the ability to make a living makes it even more intertwined with our daily lives.

“We’re moving in a direction where the content we’re consuming is being mixed with the content we create”

With reality blending with the virtual, Rudy hopes that we no longer think of “alternate universes” and instead see larger integration between different worlds. “There is a kind of a merger happening and different parallel realities, well, realities that we perceive to be different, but there is kind of a merger happening.” He finished off by asserting that “the people that are leading that charge for that merger are the creators”

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