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  • Rovindu Ambagolla

Digital Friday >>> The Metaverse Gets Stylish

Picture Credit: Josh Redd

The Metaverse was announced recently by Mark Zuckerberg as the future of the internet. A fully virtual world where you can spend your time online through your personalised avatar. However, Facebook themselves are not the only company helping with the personalisation options available to users. Massive clothing brands like Nike are planning on launching digital clothing items which avatars can wear.

The sportswear giant is reeling in patents to make sure they can also launch products on the Metaverse for purchasing. When you purchase one of these items online in the Metaverse, you can wear them digitally on your avatar as you walk around the metaverse, join meetings or play games.

Sources close to Nike commented that having a digital presence and a virtual rollout was an important priority for the company. Nike isn’t the only company that has decided to catapult themselves into this new online market. Massive clothing outlets such as Puma, Reebok, Farfetch and even Gucci have also decided to roll out online-only ranges of clothing.

Picture Credit: Max Anderson

With clothing retail giants such as Nike teaming up with Facebook to join the Metaverse, the big question which persists is how popular digital fashion will be. There are reasons why fashion companies should be both optimistic and sceptical about the outcome of their investment in the Metaverse. The idea of personalising your avatar in an online environment has been extremely popular before. A good example is with the hit online game Fortnite, which allowed players to earn and buy different skins in the game. The concept was quick to take off and it is estimated that Fortnite makes around $50 million off a single launch of digital skins. This reassures companies that the demand for customised avatars exists, and the earning potential is immense.

However, there is still an issue that companies who invest in the Metaverse need to be cautious of, and this has to do with the image of the company behind it, Facebook. There is a lot of negative coverage and speculation behind Mark Zuckerberg’s decision to rebrand the company as “Meta”. The idea of your whole virtual presence being tracked by Facebook, a company that has been charged countless times with user privacy breaches and allegations of spreading hate speech, doesn’t sit right with a lot of people. The technology itself is impressive, but the concept of Facebook policing the platform is drawing in concern and could very well affect the popularity of the platform.

So, the success of brands who invest in the Metaverse ultimately boils down to the perception of Facebook itself, and how comfortable people are with using the technology offered by them.

November 12th 2021 | 2:10 PM

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