Social Media Users are Upbeat About the Metaverse

Social Media Users are Upbeat About the Metaverse

Social media users are largely positive about the metaverse, supporting its growth and adoption, contrary to the misconception that it is now a dead concept, a recent study reveals.

Researchers from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) carried out a study to assess people’s perception of the metaverse by analyzing their social media posts, specifically the X platform.

Positive sentiment

According to the study titled “Inevitable-Metaverse: A Novel Twitter Dataset for Public Sentiments on Metaverse,” the UAE researchers curated a data set of 86,565 posts on X platform, formerly Twitter. This was to assess users’ sentiment on the metaverse. The data was divided into three categories that is positive, neutral, and negative.

An example of a positive post carried a message like “good morning everyonenlet (sic) keep building the metaverse.”

This is in contrast to a typical negative sentiment with a post like “correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t the metaverse just going to be like an mmorpg where you have to do your job surrounded by irritating npcs, if so I’ll stick with irl interactions please.”

The results of the study revealed that 45,506 or 53% of posts expressed a positive sentiment about the metaverse.

At least 28,663 posts or 33% of the total revealed users were neutral about the concept while the remaining 12,396, representing 14% of the posts were negative. The results of the study show that although interest in the metaverse is still high, people still have security and privacy concerns which drove negative sentiment.

“Although people in general are excited about the prospects of metaverse due to potential use cases such as virtual meetings and virtual learning environments, there are also concerns due to potential negative consequences,” wrote the researchers in an abstract of the study.

“For instance, people are concerned about their data privacy as well as spending a lot of their time on the metaverse leading to negative impacts in real life.”

This follows cases of abuse on the metaverse emerging leading to some users to take a cautious approach.

The trend in posts

According to the researchers, positive and negative sentiments followed patterns, whereas it was a different case with neutral sentiment towards the metaverse.

“The positive tweets contain a lot of words supporting metaverse adoption including ‘need’, ‘love’, ‘right’, ‘future’, and ‘new,’” wrote the researchers.

“In contrast, the negative tweets besides containing words such as ‘bad’, ‘crazy’, and ‘don’t’, also contained many offensive words. No distinct pattern of words is evident in neutral sentiment tweets.”

Other posts made included comments like the metaverse “offers early promising signs for adoption of metaverse technology.”

The metaverse became the tech buzz word that Facebook rebranded to Meta in line with its vision to propel the metaverse concept.

Also read: The Line Between Real and Fake Gets Too Thin for the Ordinary Eye

Accuracy benchmarks

Just like the UAE study, other previous researchers have also used machine learning to determine metaverse sentiment on social media. Previous studies, according to Cointelegraph have reached 88% accuracy benchmarks.

This means that more than 1 in 10 posts “are mislabeled or misrepresented by the models.”

As for the UAE researchers, their models achieved a 92.6% accuracy across a data set which had more than 85,000 posts.

Based on this, it makes the study “one of the most detailed analyses of public sentiment for metaverse to date.”

However, it is important to note the study may not have been peer reviewed.

Shortcomings and future research

The UAE researchers acknowledged the shortcomings in their study like the limited terminology that was used to carry out the study.

Their study was limited to posts that contained the term “metaverse.” This means other conversations about the metaverse but that did not contain the keyword “metaverse” were excluded from the study.

Instead of using only one platform – X, future research will expand to include other social media networks like Meta and Reddit. In future, researchers will also integrate offline and traditional sentiment analysis like scientific surveys. This will help the study create a more comprehensive picture.

Image credits: Shutterstock, CC images, Midjourney, Unsplash.