New research from Zen Internet claims 18% of British 16-24 year olds are already making friends in the metaverse, while 46% are considering doing so in the future.

And it’s not just the youth who are eagerly anticipating making new chums via avatars in some virtual realm – Zen reckons 22% of people in general are ‘intrigued’ by the metaverse and plan to learn more about it this year. That figure rises to 30% for those surveyed aged 35-44, while 37% believe the metaverse will become mainstream by 2030.

Apparently 11% of people have already created their own metaverse avatar (which probably reveals some selection bias to the survey), while 29% of 16-24 year olds think that the metaverse will improve their confidence. I mean, there’s nothing like morphing your form into a giant death robot stomping about on a virtual plane to pep you up a bit.

Zen’s survey also reckons young people are looking forward to getting stuck in to more dating platforms on the metaverse. 36% of ‘young Brits’ are getting ready to date partners in the metaverse, whilst 38% are interested in specifically speed dating within the metaverse. Try telling that to your nan when she asks where you met.

“The metaverse will provide an entirely new way to interact with virtual environments and others, in a more immersive and interactive way than previously possible,” said Jawad Ashraf, CEO. “Zen Internet’s research highlights how important virtual interactions will be to the younger generation’s identity. It may be too early to predict exactly what the metaverse will become, but we do know it will open up completely new shopping, work, entertainment and social experiences.”

Paul Stobart, CEO at Zen Internet added: “As our independently commissioned research demonstrates, there are many young adults who are curious to explore the metaverse to make new connections. And in that metaverse, as more and more people consider communicating more in this way, internet connectivity needs to be fast and reliable.”

If Facebook’s user data for people under 25 is anything to go by it does seem they are looking elsewhere for virtual interactions – thoughts of these nature no doubt spurred its all in move to the metaverse, name change and all. But the metaverse has a long way to go to prove itself, and surveys of this type, though harmless, are of course mostly novelty proxies for marketing something else. Regardless its always interesting to imagine some genuine use cases for the metaverse beyond seeing Mark Zuckerberg’s cartoon head looking gormlessly at virtual objects.


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