A new survey conducted by Yahoo has sought to understand consumer expectations of the fast-growing metaverse scene. The study gleaned insights from the responses of 15,000 users in the APAC region, covering Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore.
Among the many interesting stats to emerge from the study was that 73% of APAC consumers were aware of the metaverse, while 66% of Millennials and Gen Z in the region said they were looking forward to exploring it.
While Millennials include anyone born from 1981 to 1996, members of Generation were born between 1997 and 2012. Having grown up with the internet, both are considered digital natives.
Differing metaverse perspectives
Interestingly, members of these groups professed to having different expectations of the metaverse, as well as different ambitions, suggesting that marketers will have to tailor their approaches accordingly for each audience.
Gen Z, for instance, wants to forge new social connections, break the rules, become rich and fulfil their personal dreams. They also want full customization capability, with the ability to create their own characters, items, and spaces: customization was rated as an important factor for over 90% of Gen Z.
Millennials, on the other hand, are more concerned with enhancing experiences and pursuing “life-like interactions,” perhaps through gaming, events such as concerts, etc. While younger users like to create avatars that capture their true appearance but with digital tweaks, Millennials opt for avatars that diverge wildly from how they look in real life. These older users were also more likely to equip their avatars with real-world branded apparel or accessories.
“While the metaverse as envisioned by so many doesn’t exist yet, this large-scale study gives us a unique insight into how it is being shaped,” said Zoe Cocker, director of innovation and creative studio at Yahoo.
“It shows there are a variety of factors moving people to these online spaces.”
Non-fungible tokens are seen as a major pillar of the metaverse, with many big brands having already tokenized goods for use in digital worlds. The Yahoo report showed that APAC users had embraced these virtual collectibles, with one-third having already studied NFTs and one-in-ten having purchased an NFT in the past.
Consumers in Hong Kong and Singapore compared favorably to other APAC countries, with half having researched NFTs and 14% having purchased an NFT.
At MetaNews, we recently asked whether existing metaverses were doing enough to protect user privacy. Unsurprisingly, the Yahoo survey respondents said they were concerned about such matters, with 61% believing it would be more difficult to preserve privacy and protect personal information in the metaverse. The absence of moral and legal norms was also cited as a concern by 57%.
In terms of barriers to adoption, the primary concerns of users related to the expensiveness of metaverse equipment (i.e. headsets), which is needed to get the most out of immersive open-world video games.
The Yahoo study did not just pose questions of the aforementioned two generations: respondents ranged in age from 13 to 65 and there were at least 1,000 users in each APAC market.
Such surveys have become commonplace, as brands seek to learn more about the desires and doubts of consumers regarding the evolving metaverse sector. PwC’s 2022 US Metaverse Survey, for example, focused on both consumers and US business leaders and suggested 82% of executives expected metaverse plans to be part of their business activities within the next three years.