Welcome to this week’s episode of the All About The Metaverse podcast, presented by your co-hosts Chris Bruno and Alexis Nicosia.

In today’s episode, we’re talking about what’s happening with the metaverse. From low visitor numbers, a lack of communications and a clear focus on AI for investment capital, it’s clear that the Metaverse is having a rough time.  

That said, this show isn’t about bashing any projects that are trying. We’ll also talk about: 

  • We discuss the current Metaverse visitor numbers and land sales
  • How we’re still to see the Killer App for NFT technology 
  • What would make a top metaverse experience in our opinion 

The All About The Metaverse podcast is brought to you by Social INK, the Digital Marketing consultancy for Web3 projects. 

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Alexis 0:01
You have to be engaging and you people need to be there. Now, how’d you get people? They’re not doesn’t need to know that question, right? Well, as a matter of fact, the $36 billion question.

Chris Bruno 0:12
Welcome to all about the metaverse podcast, the show that keeps you up to date with the latest technology, trends and news about our future digital world. Alexis, thanks for joining me again. We’re here for episode two already. I’m very excited. How you doing today?

Alexis 0:28
Hi, Chris. Thank you for having me again. Very excited, actually. As I was saying just before, if the state of the metaverse keeps going as it’s going now, maybe we’re only going to be down to two very skinny episodes because not much is happening in Metaverse, and we are the one who was making stuff. So let’s make up some stuff and make up one more episode. Also, let’s try not to bash on, you know, whoever is there to try to do something of the lights of metta decentraland sandbox, to name a few will definitely to mention as well, two good ones, right, because there’s a lot of video games out there that are seemingly like Metaverse, which, which we’re also going to mention, but yeah, I think I think you’ll back up a piece or two with quite a few topics. Yeah, well,

Chris Bruno 1:17
no, I think what you said there, right? The Metaverse has definitely been getting a bit of a kicking in the last week, two weeks. There’s a lot of negative sides to the story. And some of it is understandable. I still think we are early. I still think the technology hasn’t caught up with the dreams. And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. But there’s definitely been a huge negative kind of spin on the majority of the news. So I think we’ll jump in with the first topic today. What is going on at meta? It’s a crazy landscape at the moment. You know, Zuckerberg has been mocked tirelessly for how bad horizons look the first time when there was like a small Eiffel Tower in the background. The fact that basically everyone is legless for no reason we don’t understand why. And, and the fact that obviously he spent I think $36 billion to date on this idea of metaverse.

Alexis 2:09
Yeah. So I sort of need here. Yeah. So no, I was saying I think he’s getting bashed just because the number is so big, right? I mean, $36 billion. There probably quite a fair bit of money to spend in, in schools, infrastructure and health care, other than, you know, building like a leg less Metaverse that nobody wants, even though I think he was capitalising on the fact that, you know, working from home was going to be a thing. And eventually it is not as much thing as as well. We all hoped. Lucky for me, I am working from home from today. His his his home. And yeah, I think I think whatever, whatever he would do. Zuckerberg, he will be bashed, anyway. Right? So now my question is, though, the real question I have Chris, now you, let’s have a debate about this. You go on and spent $40 billion, okay? to rebrand a very successful company that has, you know, already, you know, basically cornered the whole entire web space, let’s say alright, websites and social social web space. Okay, you go on to the exercise with a vision, and you’re like, Okay, you know what’s all in metaverse? You must have a plan B, and a plan C? Okay. $4 billion. It’s a large chunk of money. This guy as ruthless as he is, as he was depicted on the on the social network or movie, whatever he is, I don’t know, but I don’t think he’s a dummy. Okay. So something must come about. Alright. He must have a plan. Something Sunday is going to happen at some point. So why where’s the black swan event? What do you think you think he’s banking on? You know, the metaverse is going to be like a fun loving the universe for people to play, and socialise? Or is it going to be like a workspace as is intended to be?

Chris Bruno 4:03
I think there’s a couple of things here. So one, Facebook has become so big, and it already was before they did the rebranding as a company, it then owned Instagram, it then owned WhatsApp, it was then building a hardware division with the quest and Oculus that they then took over. They do a lot of things. And they’re not just the Facebook platform anymore. So I think there was always this idea of kind of creating that parent branding that could then encompass everything, I think as well. What’s important, yes, they hit the meta thing. I think it works really well around the idea of metaverse. But meta is just like a prefix, right? It’s something that we throw in front of other words as well. So a meta verse then becomes what we talk about these amazing worlds that are a bit like ours, but better and in the digital realm. But I think as well, you know, if you look at it from a point of view is just a word. I think it could be more encompassing than that. It’s a great way for them to sort of have that top level could end up being meta versus could end up being met or plexes could end up being met or whatever they decide they want to do next, right.

Alexis 5:07
Yeah. Good boy. And so I don’t think I don’t think it’s quite quite as fair as everybody is thinking it is to bash them so hard. I think we should give them a bit of time as well, as you mentioned before, yes, it’s a bit early, yesterday, 6 billion, it’s quite a lot. But you know, what I’d like to give them benefit of the doubt. So far they, they’ve known for, you know, creating some very exciting products that people want, right? It’s not because I just say that tomorrow, Zuckerberg is gonna call me like, Oh, thank you very much. I’m gonna pursue the venture. Right. But um, but I think it’s, it’s easy to, to give them grief. Again, I believe that $6 million in large numbers should have been deployed for all the nice ESG initiatives. But that’s my thought they want to build something that is, you know, the next iteration of the internet, so let’s give him some credit there. You’ve got to remember

Chris Bruno 6:00
as well, love them, hate them. Anything else? That doesn’t matter. There’s two things, I think that are really important. One meta represents like 3 billion monthly active users across all platforms. This is crazy, right? It’s nearly half of the world. And in fact, if you take away really young children, and really old people that don’t use technology, they probably do have more than half of all right. So that’s the first thing to remember. I think the second thing is, well, whether they’ve got this play, right yet, the technology is still advancing, if Oculus wasn’t pushing hard to get out things like the quest to the, you know, I bought one it was $300. It’s a standalone unit, it, it works without having to be connected to anything other than Wi Fi doesn’t need cables, they didn’t need an expensive PC. So it’s huge. Yeah, it’s very cool. But you imagine if you would talk to me as a kid, 10 years ago, or so 10 years ago, that’s a lie 30 years ago, and told me I was going to one day own one of them, right, I would have been like that, oh my god, that would be mind blowing. So the fact that we’re getting there, if companies like this, and there’s lots of others, there’s hive, there’s valve, there’s a few others that are doing that a crowd trying to create kit like this. So I think that’s the key thing. And then the last piece is as well. Facebook is a very, very, very big, or meta now, very, very big company that is publicly traded. Every time somebody creates this Fudd as we call it in the web three industry. But as soon as they start putting out this fear and uncertainty and doubt around the brand, the share prices collapse. Now, if you look back over the last year for Facebook, this massive thing of oh my god, Zuckerberg lost his mind. Oh, my God, like, you know, he spent so much money. Oh, my God, they’re gonna have to cut staff. Every big tech company has cut staff. Yeah, every big company has cut staff. But if you look at where the share price was, and I can tell you this almost like not to the date, but at least in terms of values, the share price has more than doubled since it hit its lowest lows last year. Yeah. And I know this because when I saw that people that suddenly valued Facebook as a group meta as a company as a group, at less than $350 million. You think sorry, $350 billion. You think to yourself, This is insanity? You have more than half of the world using their platforms every single month. How are you going to tell me that that is not worth more than that?

Alexis 8:20
Well, of course, I agreed. I agreed that was definitely a buy. I agree with you. That definitely. Now, what’s quite interesting here is to look at a little bit of okay, meta has that many users every day. But not I mean, I’m I’m admit the user Okay. I’ve never I’ve never peered into their met others. I didn’t even try. There’s an

Chris Bruno 8:45
there’s an issue. So yeah, it was an issue. I think why

Alexis 8:49
exactly. So what happened there you see it, he should have ended, they should have appealed to me, they should appeal to me so very well, that this transition as soon as I log in Facebook, Instagram and whatnot, I should have you know, I’m sure I’m gonna Hey, would you like to go in? You know, would you do what I do want to dive in? And at no moment that was addressed? Okay. And I and nothing, that was the point of failure. Now. That’s a good segue. I believe in what we wanted to discuss next as well. There’s this lack of communication from all these metal verses. I mean, you building cool shirts. Well speak about it. Let people know about this. I mean, meta is a perfect example where they already have a fan base available ready? I mean, they’re already into the metaverse like they’re they click that bloody button and bring me there. Right. And that didn’t happen.

Chris Bruno 9:39
I think there’s two things that there’s two things here are two really interesting that you’ve brought up. And again, this is where you’re right meta has really focused their play on the hardware element of the metaverse. So if you don’t have one of their headsets, you’re not going into it. And I think there’s something that they they see as a long term play when they get that right And when it’s a seamless transition that when you put that on, it feels like you’re in the real world, but you’re not, that’s going to be a game changer that is just going to be off the charts. You know, that’s when we start thinking ready, player one, etc. But the key problem is the reason I think they haven’t let anybody access it with their mobile phone or through a browser is because then you get to the same position and the problem that we’re currently having with things like decentraland, where you can access it very quickly. But what’s actually happening is, a lot of people aren’t accessing it. And again, our view for this show is all about not bashing people. So how do you get more people to actually come into it? No, not real bashing people, but they don’t communicate? Yeah. And these things don’t become big enough of a story. Yeah.

Alexis 10:43
Talk about talk about that the Fashion Week that happened in in Central Hall again, this is something we should have seen year to load on left, right and centre. I mean, brands that I like, okay, there are some brands that are like that participated. But I haven’t heard I haven’t seen a message nothing. And I am in the metaverse and sort of, sort of, of industry, let’s say, and I didn’t care so much about it. So there was definitely a lack of communication. I believe the numbers that came out of the attendance of this Fashion Week, and not great to be honest. Yeah, fashion

Chris Bruno 11:16
week shows, I think, I think was the block that reported. I’m checking the numbers as well, to make sure I don’t get this wrong. I think they reported around 26,000 people attending the various events online. And that’s down like 76% from last year. Yeah. Now, the hype as as part of this as well, which I think is a big piece of the problem as well. The hype has died down. There’s less people talking about this in general. And the conversations now are more, like we talked about at the beginning of the episode. They’re very much more focused on the negatives. That’s the Oh, but there’s not a lot of people. Oh, well, there’s not a lot of this. There’s not a lot of that. And I think that’s one of the key problems where we’re not talking about Well hang on a second, there are people trying to do cool shit. And this is a really important issue. How do we get more people talking about the fact that yeah, okay, fine. It might be down 76%. But actually, how many of those brands really pushed to make that kind of announcement? How many people talked about it, but what happened? What was happening? And how much of that stays away from the web three Metaverse focus press and actually getting into the real line where right now everybody’s talking about chat GPT AI and Elon Musk’s latest call for everyone to hope progress on AI until we understand how it works better. It’s that’s what the world is talking about. That’s where money is flowing currently. And that means that the metaverse has been kind of left high and dry. Yeah, we put loads of money and we believed in it for a short while. And then now the attention span has gone. We’re not talking about it in the same way. And what happens as a result of that is less happening. I don’t know it seems that way a little bit.

Alexis 12:53
Yeah, there’s something there’s something very, very true what you say and I think I’ve stopped before and if you think if you think I’m maybe you know diverging in a bit or, or going to separate of a way, but I think the fact that Metaverse is connected so much to NF Ts and crypto that was Shinran. Back to the city. So for example, I think NFT is a phenomenal technology. Again, there’s a cornerstone building block of metal versus Okay, look at doing NFT NFT activity. So start to nothing again, but the and you know brands they want to play the game of let’s go and Metaverse but why don’t you play the game of NF TS or because that’s attached to you know, some shady, you know, sort of blockchain crypto narrative that they don’t want to partake? And that’s so wrong. Because it seems that blockchain is exactly built, you know, to transact assets on the metaverse, it couldn’t be any better, as much as the credit card would never been built to, you know, purchase stuff on the web, and as a reason why there’s so much fraud. Now you have finally a system that it’s perfectly suited, you know, to transact goods and acids on that digital realm. But they don’t want to connect. And on top of that, you know, this judge BTi distraction, but

Chris Bruno 14:25
I think it’s really correct. Like you’re completely right, right now we’ve got NF TS as a technology. You and I have spoken about this at length offline, but we know how we feel about this. And I think we’ve got blockchain, crypto MFTs web three, everything is thrown into the same pot and it’s very much not the case. But I think even more importantly, right now, Blockchain NFCs, etc. represent to me that shift of like in 2007 when Steve Jobs pulled the iPhone out of his pocket, and everyone went wow, that’s super cool, but no one had a clue how to use it properly. And it took years before we started to see the advent of companies and the killer apps that came on it afterwards, that really changed the way we do everything. Without that technological advancement without having that ease and access. And without giving people those frameworks, we wouldn’t have stuff like Uber, Airbnb, etc. Because Apple weren’t the first people to create a touchscreen phone. They were the first person first company, sorry, to give you an environment where it was worth investing and worth getting involved in. So I think the blockchain and the NFT once that’s used for a specific particular use case, rather than just making money, or rather than people trying to get funds for a project before it’s even started, etc. Like the rest of the real world works, right? We don’t, you know, you talk to people and say, Can I have a load of money? I’m thinking of doing something cool later on in two years time. But once you can actually look at it as a technology and you say, well hang on a second. Why do I own my car? Do I own my car? Because it’s parked outside my house? Do I own my car? Because I have the keys to the car? Or do I own the car? Because actually, I have a registration document that’s issued by government that tells me that I own and now what we’re talking about is your ownership that digital ownership representation. And what that can be used for in NF TS is mind boggling in the future, including the metaverse, I agree with you, but I think we have to caution that away from people talking about it as a thing, NF TS because Oh, NF T’s are dead, and actually going Oh, yes. Cool. Actually, I bought this really cool thing in this Metaverse platform like they do spend millions and millions of dollars every month on skins for fortnight. There’s a whole thing going on at the moment in CSGO, where people are trying to get rare loot, and they’re selling it on for hundreds of dollars. It’s a digital asset. That means nothing. But there has no provenance and has no tracking record or anything else. We’re just happy to let somebody else deal with it. So I think that’s a huge game changer as well, when we get that right. And when we can differentiate away from the bad news and the bad press.

Alexis 16:57
Yeah, we’ll be quite interesting to engage as well, our audience to see if they come up with the awesome killer apps that you’d like to see happening on the on the on the metaverse as well. Because I mean, I cannot think of any myself right now. Because I’m so engrossed into, you know, Blockchain tokens, you know, token sale and stuff like that, because I think that technology is so awesome in that in that in that regard, right, but it will be quite interesting to hear it from our audience to see what is it they think would be that killer app of the metaverse right. Then let’s see, let’s see will be quite interesting.

Chris Bruno 17:34
What to jump on from that. So what are those killer apps and everything else? So let’s have a chat about done again, I’m interested in tearing this from your point of view. How should we consider a top Metaverse and I mean, what makes a top Metaverse a top metaverse? What makes a Metaverse even significant or important or successful? Like what for you makes a good digital environment that we can call a metaverse.

Alexis 17:56
Okay. It’s a bit of a philosophical question here. Okay. So I’m going to I’m going to answer it with with what I know of the British language, okay? Now, again, when you when you speak about Metaverse just speak about you know, an augmented, you know, experience that, okay, for in that particular case is like a digital augmented experience. Okay. If I want to augment that digital experience, I would like to experience something that it’s nothing like the real world. I mean, nothing is better than the real world, right? I mean, like, sex or paragliding, or scuba diving or I mean, whatever. This is awesome experiences. Okay. But if I ought to then jump into a Metaverse and consider this as what makes it like the best experience, I want it to be fun to me. If it’s no fun, what’s my incentive? What is it and I need, I don’t need to earn anything from it. I need to have, you know, my, my adrenaline kick, I need to have, you know, my serotonin being tickled I need to it needs to be fun. You need to be engaging in so something has to happen, right? And even more. So what I would consider being an outstanding Metaverse, we had chat about this. Imagine if tomorrow I go like, Okay, I want to create an instantaneous Metaverse, that’s going to last just you know, for an hour or so. Like, while we have this conversation, you know, I prologue in my my NFT is my AI my stuff and then like shake your shake, shake and move for one hour. We are in these like super fun. You know feagan loading Las Vegas type of metaverse. Like for one hour, we having a blast. Like that would be a fun experience. So I would like it to be fun. Okay, that’s what I think would be fun for me. Now, what would make it successful? Again, successful I think success from from comes from mass adoption, right? You need to have people need to have people that partake that socialise that you know, that that can get something out of out of that experience, right? I’m making a new friend, you know, getting a piece of him formation. But if you want to do something for business, you know, you could go attend an event or a token sale of a project that’s going to be launched in two years, as you mentioned before, it has to it has to be engaging, and people need to be there. Now, how do you get people there? Nods does the billion dollar question right? Or, as a matter of fact, the 40 $36 billion question

Chris Bruno 20:21
as definitely a $36 billion question that Mark Zuckerberg and his team have been trying to figure out?

Alexis 20:26
Well, you you, are you You asked me and to me, what would make me successful is, I think if we were to aim to make it fun, and as you see, the meta verses that are fun, are those that again, to those of those games,

Chris Bruno 20:39
I agree with you, I think it’s there’s a huge problem at the moment as well of trying to make this be all and end all of everything. And I don’t think it works. I think this ends up being built niche, small communities, and you build that slowly but surely. But I also think that’s the same case for gaming in general, gaming used to have this kind of almost negative inclination to it, where if you spoke to someone who was a professional, they wouldn’t tell you oh, I’m also a gamer like at the weekends, I love to boot up the Xbox and play whatever it is. And I think that’s changing. Now more and more you can see it, I’m having conversations with people that are successful running SAS businesses working in finance, in the city, whatever it might be. And these people will say to you like, yeah, actually, I love like playing Xbox, I love playing this, I play that. And I think that’s a really big key piece to this puzzle that, whether we like to admit it or not, it’s going to start with those gaming communities. If you can go somewhere, do something. And it’s fun, enjoyable. And like you say, there’s a whole sort of philosophical side of this about psychological ways of hitting gamers. So like you mentioned your serotonin and everything else. But you know, getting making sure people get hooked on those experiences, you need

Alexis 21:46
to have a bit of escapism. Okay, that’s, that’s I think the bottom line to escapism needs to be read. There.

Chris Bruno 21:53
Okay. And in fact, if you’ve ever read, like, ready, player me, I rarely play one sorry, or if you’ve watched the film, the books much better, by the way. But yeah, if you’ve ever read it, and you’ve watched the film, you see it as well. It’s straight away. That’s what the kid says, like, the real world is just not nice anymore. It’s filled with war, famine, poverty.

Alexis 22:10
Sounds about sounds about right, about the world we live in.

Chris Bruno 22:14
So you can imagine why then everyone wants to put on this headset and be in an environment that, like I said, right, it’s an augmented side of things. It’s fun, it’s nice. It’s where you socialise, it’s where you meet your friends is where you meet people as well. So all of these things, I think, make a big difference. And I think again, that’s going to be part of it. But one of the key things I did look at and I did bring together some numbers for this as well, because I was trying to figure out how do we mark at success. So right now, if you do a Google search for Metaverse, you look at news, it basically is all negative. It’s very sad place to be reading. I try not to spend too much time when I read

Alexis 22:49
the third world. The same goes for the world. If you like Google, any news of the world is like quite a sad place to live.

Chris Bruno 22:56
It used to be more fun like a couple of years ago when it came to NF T’s and Metaverse is but so one of the key things I did look at here, so I was looking at like eight coin mana sands. So decentraland and sandboxes tokens as well. And I’m realising that these guys still have a market cap of like a coin I think is at 1.5 billion plus the Mana is at like 1.1 billion for decentraland. And sandbox, the same token I think is at about 950 million in terms of market cap. And these numbers are huge. Like let’s be completely clear here for tiny projects that you know, all you’re reading about is there’s no users, there’s not enough people. Metaverse Fashion Week was down, like these companies and these token projects have not gone completely under. And I thought I would have a look as well at the land prices. So obviously, each of these projects have the ability to buy land and and I realise again, like these haven’t completely lost their value, right? This isn’t like a rug pool where, you know, there’s no point in buying, therefore they’re not worth anything. But I was looking at it other deed, I think the floor price was about $2,000 When I looked just before we started recording decentraland was about $1,300 for a piece of land for the cheapest sandbox about $900. So these are still values, I think that are representative of quite premium product at this stage still like you and I wouldn’t pay $900 for a video game. But people are obviously still paying these sorts of numbers and there is still a tiny bit of volume. Not a huge amount like before, but what do you what do you think of that?

Alexis 24:29
Well, exactly. I think here we are. We’re piggybacking on that old notion of ownership. Okay, because obviously, you know, meta versus land land rights, but rather than charging money for a piece of land, what if you were to be charging money for an experience? Right? For for fulfilling, right for them? That could be quite interesting actually. Because again, Owning a piece of land on the meta verse, okay? Very well, but that’s quite an old notion of ownership. Okay, because we we know that owning upon then then it’s valuable because it will appreciate in time and I can do stuff in there. I can make a commercial whatsoever, but as an old mentality, can we really apply the exact same mentality to the metaverse? I think the metaverse should actually be a place where you get experiences. If I would be able to have a mind blowing experience by I don’t know taking mushrooms smoking a joint ticket taking opium or whatever. And what I what are you asking? Let’s talk about ayahuasca imagine a decalcify my pineal gland and all of a sudden I’m like, you know, go connect it to the you know, like 11 dimension. Bloody hell, I’ll be $100,000 for that. Every time.

Chris Bruno 25:52
People do pay that kind of money to go and have that kind of an experience in real life. It’s for

Alexis 25:57
sure for sure. Yep. No. And as I’ve had this experience, way better than anything that they offered metaverse. So the metaverse is really begins you really piggybacking on a very old idea of ownership that we are familiar with in this real world. They should maybe focus on you know, like, why don’t we charge people you know, for outstanding experience? You know, that I think that would be that would be my, my quiche. I would spend money for nothing. Everybody would spend money for experiences. And as my vote I don’t own any land on any Metaverse because I I want the metaverse to not be what the real world is. I want it to be different. I want to be something else. I don’t want the metaverse to be governed by the same, you know, ancient ideas and purpose as this real world. Otherwise, I keep living here. I’m fine here, you know, but if I want to go to the metaverse, I want it to be fun. I want to be exciting. And I want to be outstanding experiences. And not just good. I get all you know flex around that I bought a piece of land on the metaverse. I don’t know, call me a hater, but I don’t think anybody would give a fuck really,

Chris Bruno 27:02
I think they did at the beginning. If you got into some of those projects at the very beginning, you were very happy. And I know there’s lots of people that have made a lot of money flipping pieces of land, etc.

Alexis 27:11
Because they made a lot of money that they want to go do Ayahuasca right

Chris Bruno 27:18
now start with a shaman somewhere in Navajo County. listen to lectures, this has been great. I think we’ve covered a couple of things that were really good and good conversations and a lot to think about. And I think what you’ve said there, if you’ve listened to this episode, and if you’ve got any thoughts on what you think a killer use case or a killer app would be for the metaverse and for that idea of a digital world. Yeah, let us know. Please let us know because we’re Russia interested in this. We want to see how many people have got different plans and ideas and thoughts, and also to see whether or not this tracks right. Like Alexa said at the beginning. This will either be our last ever episode. Or the story for the metaverse is only just beginning and I’m hoping it’s only just beginning.

Alexis 27:57
Excellent. All right, Chris. Well, thank you very much for having me again. Let’s well let’s continue. i It’s a lot of fun. And I’m loving this. I can’t wait for next week. We should have we should we should have someone on the on the podcast.

Chris Bruno 28:11
I’ve got someone I’m not going to say who yet but I’ve got someone who I’m hoping they’re going to come on board and we’ll have a guest for our third episode. But anyway for now. Thank you so much for listening everybody. If you have enjoyed the episode, don’t forget to hit the subscribe button down below. Listening to this on your favourite podcast episode again. Thank you so much for listening. We’ll see you again next week.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai