Today’s podcast is part 1 of 4 (maybe 5) podcasts about the Metaverse and what it really means to the real estate industry, real estate agents and our future.
1 – What is the Metaverse?
The Metaverse can be defined as a simulated digital environment that uses augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and blockchain, along with concepts from social media, to create spaces for rich user interaction mimicking the real world.
Blockchain is defined as a system in which a record of transactions made in bitcoin or another cryptocurrency are maintained across several computers that are linked in a peer-to-peer network.
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Over the next few years, the Metaverse could become a literal parallel universe. Or perhaps, there are many different metaverses and you will virtually go from one ‘metaverse’ to another. Metaverse is a term, not a company name. The metaverse may be what will become known as Web 3.0.
If the Metaverse is becoming Web 3.0, how do we define Web 1.0 and Web 2.0?
Web 1.0 was the first stage or iteration of the internet. There were not many content creators and most internet users were consumers. It was characterized by few people creating content and more people on the internet consuming content. This was a simple model, based mainly on just viewing content.
Web 2.0 started being used as a term around 1999 and is the internet that we’ve all grown accustomed to using today. In Web 2.0, content consumers were encouraged to become content creators. Rather than taking a passive approach to internet use by simply viewing, Web 2.0 provided an environment where more users could become active participants. Most if not all of the top 10 visited sites on the internet are based on user created content.
Web 2.0 allowed individuals to publish articles and comments, and users could create accounts on different sites, which ultimately encouraged participation and increased the number of people regularly using the internet. Web 2.0 was structured in a way that encouraged more people to create unique content.
Web 2.0 has been characterized by the rise of apps, platforms that enabled self-publishing like WordPress and Squarespace, and social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube. These websites emphasize user-generated content, participation, and user-friendly layouts, which are all distinct characteristics of Web 2.0. In simple terms, Web 2.0 transitioned to the idea of “the internet as a platform.”
Web 2.0 is the transition that the internet went through after the dot-com bubble, but the internet is once again in the process of transitioning. This new stage of the internet will provide new benefits to users and content creators.
In Web 3.0, data will be connected in a decentralized way, unlike generation 2.0 of the internet in which data is primarily stored in centralized storage locations. In Web 3.0, users will also be able to interact with data through the use of AI (artificial intelligence) and machine learning technology.
The use of AI will allow data to be provided to users faster, and the data that is provided will be more relevant to each user. We are beginning to see the use of this technology in the internet through algorithms that are used to suggest products, videos, etc., to users based on their previous searches. However, the technology in Web 3.0 will be even more advanced.
MSN was the source for much of the above explanations.
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2 – What does the term Metaverse really mean?
Don’t get stuck on the term metaverse. Replace “metaverse” with what we called the internet 20 years ago, “cyberspace.” No one uses the term cyberspace anymore. Cyberspace was a placeholder term for what is now considered just… ‘being online’. For most people, the internet and being online come down to a handful of sites which they visit regularly.
The top 10 websites that get 90% of internet traffic are:
10) Whats App
Now, imagine no longer going to those sites using a keyboard and screen, but using virtual reality. There will be multiple metaverses, similar to your use of multiple websites today.
Conceptually that is how the metaverse will function. Eventually, there will be a small handful of winners, probably fewer than 5 metaverses that executed at a higher level and attracted the most users. In the meantime, expect there to be many competing metaverses like there were many competing social networking sites. Now, there is just Facebook.