Execs seemed confused about the metaverse on Q3 earnings calls


A new video by Inspired by Iceland pushes back against experiencing life through the “metaverse,” as described by Mark Zuckerberg during Facebook’s rebranding to Meta on Thursday, Oct. 28, 2021.

Michael Nagle | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Online dating apps, a crypto exchange and a professional wrestling brand are among the many companies that tried to weave their disparate and seemingly unrelated businesses into the metaverse discussion this quarter.

The concept was on the top of analysts’ minds after Facebook changed its corporate name to Meta last month in preparation for “an embodied internet where you’re in the experience, not just looking at it,” as defined by Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg.

Zuckerberg is betting the metaverse, a computer-generated world, is where people will work, play and socialize using the company’s virtual reality headsets.

But executives around the world have lots of differing opinions on what the metaverse is and when we can expect it. Some view the metaverse as something that already exists, such as worlds created by Roblox. Others see it as a vague futuristic concept.

When questioned on their plans for the metaverse after earnings this week, the executive’s answers were everything. And nothing. Most didn’t shy away from brainstorming forward-thinking business opportunities that could boost stock values. It’s unclear whether or not they’ll actually materialize — or if the ideas even make sense.

“All I can do is kind of sit back and watch it in amazement,” Neal Stephenson, who popularized the term in his 1992 book “Snow Crash,” told CNBC in a recent interview.

Here’s what we “learned.”

It’s the human co-experience

It’s already here

It’s not here yet

It’s too late to get in

It’s vague

Whatever it is, NetEase will be a ‘fast runner’

It has something to do with crypto

It’s the digitized Game of Life

It’s…something where Bumble will be

It will have news and sports

It will run on Qualcomm chips

It’s going to be a lot bigger than Facebook (Meta)

It will have ads

Disney will have one

It will involve people playing the piano

It will be primarily made by artists

Unity CEO John Riccitiello, on Unity’s play for the metaverse through its acquisition of Weta Digital: “That’s going to really help us extract and help build the metaverse around the notion the world’s a better place with more creators in it. And now the many millions of creators in the world that think of themselves as artists, they’re welcomed on our platform and we got something that’s going to delight them. So, this really puts under our platform something that is, at least from an artist perspective, truly magic and they’re the largest tappable audience we have in our universe.”

It’s robust


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