SK Telecom’s Ifland has a lot of expectations to answer for
South Korean mobile operator SK Telecom (SKT) has inspired a European meta verse bandwagon following in the wake of its seemingly successful adoption of the sometimes nebulous concept. Recently research company the Gartner Group and service provider Zen Internet have both launched reports talking up the mysterious entity that is the Meta verse.
Jumping on the blandwagon?
In February SKT said it had 1.1 million monthly active users (MAU) of its Ifland metaverse, launched in July 2021. The figures were part of its earnings statement for 2021. SK Telekom also told investors it had almost 280,000 users in the month after its launch and the time they are spending on it has gone from 26 minutes to 61 minutes a month.
Gartner’s question time
Recent Gartner research shows that a quarter (25 per cent) of people will spend at least an hour a day in the metaverse by 2026. Four years is a long time in the teenage internet trends, however. Now Zen Internet has predicted that Facebook’s strategy to embrace the metaverse could be about to pay off. It based this bold claim on the responses of 2,002 ‘nationally representative’ UK 16 to 24 year olds who were prepared to talk to Censuswide.
Meet new fiends in the metaverse
Nearly a fifth (18 per cent) of 16–24-year-olds are already making new friends in the metaverse, it said. Zen claimed significance in the fact that ‘whopping’ 46 per cent said they are considering using the metaverse to make friends in the future. Zen said that 36 per cent of the survey sample are gearing up to date new partners in the metaverse, whilst 38 per cent are interested in speed dating in the new glorified version of online dating.
Meta of taste
One in five (22 per cent) are intrigued by the metaverse and intend to learn more about it this year, as are 30 per cent of the 35-44 yea old age group. One in ten (11 per cent) have already created their own metaverse avatar. The most worrying statistic is that 29 per cent of young brits believe that the metaverse will improve their confidence.
Facebook numbers are meta mortifying
Facebook has reported that it lost half a million global daily users in its latest quarterly earnings reports. Teenage users have already declined by 13 per since 2019 and they are projected to drop by 45 per cent in the next two years. Paul Stobart, CEO at Zen Internet, seemed confident that Zen had value from its study.
“As our independently commissioned research demonstrates, there are many young adults who are curious to explore the metaverse to make new connections,” said Stobart, “and in that metaverse, as more and more people consider communicating more in this way, internet connectivity needs to be fast and reliable.”