Entertainment and social media companies are competing for our eyeballs, whether that’s Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) and other streaming services pouring billions into a constant stream of content, or social media algorithms fine-tuning themselves to become as addictive as possible.
The pandemic has created a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for these companies, as consumers have additional time to stare at a screen — but attention spans are short, and it seems like every company is getting a “plus” subscription now, from Disney (NYSE: DIS) to Tripadvisor (NASDAQ: TRIP). So, some companies are taking it a step further as some lockdown measures lift and attention fractures even further: the metaverse, a fully virtual, 3D environment.
Roblox, an online game platform whose user base largely skews younger, is bringing things like concerts, album launches, and more to a virtual world where geography and affordability are no longer concerns. Gen Z is the most internet-connected generation yet, with the ability to make friends all over the world – now they can have new experiences together. Facebook (NASDAQ: FB), in a slightly different tactic, is aiming for older audiences with its new virtual reality meetings, where people’s avatars sit in a room together while the real users sit miles apart.
Zoom (NASDAQ: ZM) announced yesterday it is partnering with Facebook to bring its Meetings into the Oculus – a virtual call within a virtual call. How successful these services are at attracting and retaining users is still to be seen, but a new ecosystem seems to be emerging, and its investors should watch what might come next.
Image by Mudassar Iqbal from Pixabay
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