The metaverse will open up more ways for businesses to make money, an executive from Facebook parent Meta Platforms Inc told an advertising conference on Monday, in a presentation complete with a video showing holographic avatars fencing and playing basketball.
The company's head of metaverse, Vishal Shah, cited opportunities for brands around digital goods and immersive shopping, speaking over video conference at the Interactive Advertising Bureau's annual leadership meeting in New York.
"Without the physical limitations that exist today that put pressure on businesses' bottom line, things like real estate, supply chain and geographical reach, the metaverse will open up more opportunities for businesses to make money," Shah told the audience.
Facebook, which makes most of its revenue through digital advertising, changed its name to Meta in October to reflect its new bet on the metaverse, a futuristic idea of a network of virtual environments accessed via different devices where users can work, socialize and play.
On the advertising conference's agenda later this week is a fireside chat with Neal Stephenson, the science-fiction author who coined the term "metaverse" in his 1992 dystopian novel "Snow Crash." Stephenson will speak on the same day that features panels with Unilever Plc's marketing vice president and Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co's head of global media investment.
Meta, which is betting the metaverse will be the successor to the mobile internet, has invested heavily in virtual and augmented reality. It has not shared many details about how brands will monetize in the metaverse.
Shah, who said the Foo Fighters would perform a concert in its virtual reality events app Horizon Venues after the Super Bowl on Sunday, pointed to the company's partnership with the National Football League that allows users to outfit their VR avatars with team jerseys as an experiment in digital goods.
Meta suffered major share losses week after reporting sputtering user growth and giving a weaker-than-expected earnings forecast, which it partially blamed on Apple Inc's privacy changes which have made it harder for brands to target and measure ads on Facebook and Instagram.
Shah said that before the metaverse is fully realized - which he said could be a decade away - businesses should continue to use its commerce channels on Facebook and Instagram and told advertisers to try out building augmented reality ads.
"Everything you're doing now across our apps will benefit you in this metaverse future," he said.
(Reporting by Elizabeth Culliford in New York; Editing by Matthew Lewis)