Why the Big Tech players like Meta might not become the dominant metaverse platforms

Many are claiming that it is highly improbable that smaller players like Roblox will win the race for metaverse domination, because they just don't have the scale and budgets that giants like Meta do.

calendar icon
September 23, 2022
Technology

And, yes, if you compare Facebook's 2.934 billion monthly active users with Roblox' 203 million monthly active users, that seems about right. But that's not the whole story. This is:

1. At first sight, Big tech (Web2) social platforms are the big winners, right? With the new(ish) metaverse platforms lagging way, way behind.

2. But this is the interesting part: if the metaverse (decentralized or not) is indeed going to be the next iteration of the web, then we see Meta's dedicated metaverse platform Horizon, for instance, lagging behind a much larger player like Roblox and ex aequo with popular Web3 (decentralized) metaverse platforms like Decentraland and the Sandbox.

I know people like to say that it is more likely that the Big tech players will also be the ones to win the race for metaverse domination, because ... well, they have the money and the scale.

But if you look at the numbers below, they speak a different story. The real question is: do the traditional Big tech players REALLY understand the language and the DNA of the metaverse? Do they understand the creator economy behind it, the multiplatform approach, the decentralization, the interoperability, the strong community focus & all the other important facets of the metaverse which is definitely not just about immersion.

Frankly, I don't know.

What do you think? And what are the most interesting metaverse platforms that I have missed?

Facebook (Meta): 2.934 billion monthly active users

YouTube: more than 2.6 billion monthly active users

WeChat: 1.29 billion monthly active users

Instagram (Meta): 1.44 billion monthly active users

TikTok: over 1 billion monthly active users

Snapchat: over 530 million monthly active users

Spotify: 433 million monthly active users

Activision Blizzard (Metaverse) (acquired by Microsoft): 361 million monthly active users

LinkedIn: 310 million monthly active users

Microsoft Teams (unfortunately, I found no stats for Teams' Mesh metaverse): nearly 250 million monthly active users

Roblox (metaverse): 203 million monthly active users

BeReal: 21.6 million monthly active users

Axie Infinity (NFT game): more than 2.2 million monthly active users

Sandbox (metaverse): 300.000 monthly active users

Decentraland (metaverse): 300.000 monthly active users

Horizon Worlds and Horizon Venues (Meta): 300.000 monthly active users

This short piece started as a LinkedIn post, but the wonderful Jennifer Sertl asked me if I could add the sources and make a shareable blog out of it, and so we created this here as well. As relevant reactions from metaverse professionals kept rolling in on LinkedIn, I decided to add them here as well, to make this piece richer, co-created and ... well, more community-driven. Here are some of the reactions:

Keynote speaker Aragorn Meulendijks on the question "Will Big Tech win the metaverse or not":

I. CONTROVERSIAL OPINION: Big Tech will LOSE Big.

Why? well let's dissect:

1. Throughout History, the bigger a company, the more conservative its policies, and big Publicly held companies like Meta cannot ignore their shareholders. Shareholders avoid Risk like the plague in general, meaning they are less likely to innovate fast enough, quick enough, and take enough Risks to win the Race.

2. Big Tech Companies are massive. True change takes time.. 10.000 minds need to adopt a new vision, a new idea, a new way of playing the game..... and many of those people will need to learn new skillsets, money alone does not change a company or the way it operates.

3. Consumers don't care about who's spending the most, they care about who meets their needs... needs are changing... Gen Z has very different expectations than Millennials and generations before those had in terms of their Digital Lives, Expression of Identity and Digital Ownership.

I could go on.. but I think that although Big Tech today has the advantage of experience (Dot.Com boom and Rise of Mobile Internet and Apps) compared to the big tech in the 90ties ... (AOL) they are still at a massive disadvantage.

II. Conversely the fast growing Crypto Space has it's very own Infrastructure for transfer of Value... with a whole new generation of investors... that believe in Web3.0 and the Metaverse.. allowing for massive amounts of money to flow to many different initiatives.. more Projects are started every day.. the Statistical Odds are much better for one of these Projects to become a champion.. than for any of the internal secret projects at Big Tech to be a success... because they play by different rules.

Anna Mogutova from Avvyland on Fortnite and the speed of growth of the newer metaverse platforms:

I would add Fortnite - they were early birds into this metaverse thing and held a number of various immersive activities with retail brands.

I think that these statistics will be even more interesting if we add a timeline - how long it took a company to reach this figures. As far as I remember, Roblox became popular after almost 10 years from the start (and their MAU soared during the lockdown), while Axie reached their millions in 2 years.

So my point is that despite these billions of Web2 platforms, they are so slow, and it seems that Web3 gives more opportunities for a boost.

WRITTEN BY
Laurence Van Elegem
Laurence Van Elegem
Laurence has more than 10 years of experience in marketing, communications and disruptive innovation. Passionately curious, she is fascinated by the impact of technology and science on the way we work, consume and live our lives.
See author page
Join us on our next experience
32/40 seats sold
Metaverse Tour
calendar icon
06.11 -> 08.11 - 2022
Paris
Get front row access to the latest scoop and new upcoming experiences, bundled into a monthly newsletter
You may opt-out any time. 
Read the .
Subscribe
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
calendar icon
September 23, 2022
Technology