The digital space we live in today has changed a lot since the early days of the internet. The next big evolutionary shift is rapidly unfolding, with many of the world’s largest tech companies announcing their intention to create what’s called a “Metaverse.”
As venture capitalist Matthew Ball describes it, “[The Metaverse] is an embodied internet consisting of a massive and interoperable network of real-time rendered 3D virtual worlds, with virtually unlimited number of users synchronized and continuously experience a sense of personal existence.”
Unlike previous iterations of the internet, the Metaverse will be primarily built and owned by its users, rather than large centralized entities. So User Generated Content (UGC) will be at its core.
What is User Generated Content (UGC) and why is it important to the Metaverse?
UGC is content (such as images, video, text, and audio) created by users rather than by professionally hired content creators.
(Image: LaCroix, GoPro and Netflix branded UCG examples)
UCG is not unique to the digital realm, but understanding how it affects the internet, the web, and social media is critical to understanding how it shapes the Metaverse.
The Metaverse and the latest iteration of the World Wide Web (called Web 3.0) are two sides of the same coin. The Metaverse shows how users will experience the Internet of the future, while Web 3.0 is about who will own, co-create, and control the Internet of the future.
Timeline of Web Iterations and User Generated Content
The role of UGC in the three main iterations of the Web to better explain how it will shape the Metaverse.
The early Web consisted of static read-only web pages created by a small number of individuals and organizations with advanced technical skills. Such web pages offer little interactivity. Still, their creators control the content, as the pages are either hosted on the creators’ own servers or rented directly. Tools such as Microsoft FrontPage and Macromedia’s Dreamweaver were introduced to democratize website creation, but require some web development and coding skills.
Our current iteration, Web 2.0, features centralized platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, and Medium. In addition to platforms, this era has also been empowered by new mobile tools, such as iPhones and Android phones, which provide connectivity and media capture capabilities. The rapid proliferation of smartphones and mobile apps connected to social platforms has skyrocketed the number of UGCs to once unimaginable numbers. These tools and platforms make it easy for users to create and interact with content, but many limit the amount of control content creators have over their content. The middlemen (platforms) truly profit from and benefit from UGC, while providing limited financial participation in the creator’s distribution system.
Thanks to blockchain technology and various solutions built on it (such as non-fungible tokens [NFTs]), Web 3.0 promises to give content creators the ability to control their content without complicating production. It aims to do this by moving content from centralized platforms to decentralized ledgers and similar content aggregators.
“No matter how the Metaverse takes shape, UGC will be the central building block that gives it personality, authenticity and scale. Encouraging creativity and allowing freedom of expression through UGC is something all Metaverse experiences should strive to do.”
—Scott Reismanis, founder of ModDB
Decentralization and guaranteed ownership of content is critical to the Metaverse, as it incentivizes users to spend a lot of time creating UGC for it. Content creators can have more granular control over their products and even enjoy compensation beyond the initial sale with configurable royalties. On Web 3.0, creators will also benefit from greater interoperability, whereby their single product can be seen and used across various Metaverses.
UGC is already shaping early Metaverse projects
Without UGC, the Metaverse would never have been an embodied version of the Internet, because without this type of content, the Internet would not be what it is today.
It is no longer an interactive place where people consume content, learn, socialize and share their thoughts and deepest feelings, it is more of a modern version of those text-based TV services called teletext or broadcast teletext.
The importance of UGC to the Metaverse can be observed in early Metaverse projects such as Somnium Space, The Sandbox, Roblox, etc.
The success of these original Metaverses is largely due to player-created content. This is in stark contrast to attribution from developers, who strive to provide content creators with easy-to-use tools, and by monetizing and incentivizing them based on the usage of their creations.
There is no doubt that Roblox’s top UGC generates a lot of engagement. For example, Adopt Me, the most popular Roblox game pet simulator of all time, had more than 27.39 billion visits as of February 2022. The indie studio behind the parent company employs about 40 people and generates $50 million in annual revenue, most of which comes from microtransactions.
But high-profile examples of UGC like Adopt Me are just the beginning. Much of the UGC in the Metaverse will be more mundane and irrelevant, just as much of the UGC on the web today is blind comments and self-retweets by users out of interest. However, this mundane UGC is exactly what virtual worlds need to feel alive and truly immersive.
The Internet as we know it is evolving and gradually becoming immersive. Soon, we will experience it as a network of 3D virtual worlds rendered in real time, and user-generated content will play a major role in how these worlds look and what can be done in them. The way people of almost all ages learn will fundamentally change over the next decade.
In contrast to Meta’s centrally controlled Metaverse, builders around the world are working together to develop the foundation of an alternative ecosystem: the multiverse. Also known as Web 3, the hyperverse is a progressively decentralized web and an interconnected, composable, collaborative internet. It is a nonlinear digital space. It includes multimedia, community and financial protocols and is based on blockchain technology as a perpetual and permissionless shared infrastructure layer.
New organizational models like DAOs (Decentralized Autonomous Organizations) are emerging to support this evolution, realigning platform incentives to build collective value. The goal is to reopen the internet using collaborative economics – by combining traditional entities with DAOs, traditional incentives with tokenized models, and traditional technologies with blockchain systems.
The dazzling world Metaverse is a virtual space that is parallel to the real world and independent of the real world. It is a virtual world that mirrors the real world. Users can not only convert the assets they own in real life into virtual digital assets, but also open their own display space in the virtual space for social entertainment and other activities. It also supports merchants to settle in Hyun Chi World Metaverse Space, open stores according to their own needs, and provide a Metaverse open platform for physical businesses with services such as online marketing scenarios, product display, smart product management, order management, and logistics management.
Posted by:CoinYuppie，Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/the-past-present-future-of-the-metaverse-how-will-ugc-ignite-the-metaverse/
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