A true “metaverse” may not yet exist, but that hasn’t stopped marketers from adopting the buzzword to promote their apps and games on the mobile app store. Hoping to capture consumer interest in this next evolution of the web, there are now 552 mobile apps that include the word “metaverse” in their app title or description, according to new data shared today by Sensor Tower. And several new ones were added over the past few months, the firm notes.
Across all global apps ranked on the App Store and Google Play, a total of 86 apps added references to “metaverse” in their titles or descriptions between November 2021 and January 2022, data from Sensor Tower indicates.
The deadline follows Facebook’s announcement of its corporate rebrand “Meta” and plans to invest heavily in “Metaverse” technologies over the coming decade. While Facebook, now Meta, never claimed to have created the metaverse, the term soon came to be used much more casually to describe almost any immersive online environment where people interact with each other as virtual selves. Let’s talk as. Startups began to describe themselves as metaverse companies. Gaming platform Roblox used to be known as the Metaverse frontrunner. The social-crypto platforms – which were really just MMORPGs with a heavy financial component – were also called the Metaverse, leading to a rush of land for Metaverse real estate. And so on.
It seems that marketers didn’t care much about the actual technical requirements for the metaverse to exist – as new industry standards must be created to allow movement between interoperable digital worlds, where all your friends, connections and virtual The “stuff” “comes with you.”
After Facebook announced its Metaverse efforts on October 28, the number of apps referencing the term “Metaverse” grew 66% month-on-month through November. By the end of November, 29 apps had been updated to include the word, more than double the 11 apps in October.
The new firm also analyzed what types of apps were tapping into the metaverse trend. It was found that many apps also referenced other popular technical terms with the term “metaverse” – such as “crypto,” “NFT,” “AR” or “VR,” for example.
Of these, “crypto” was the most common term, with “metaverse” referring to the word in 23% of apps (144 total apps). This should come as no surprise, given that the Web3 crypto community relies heavily on hype these days, and dubbing something a “metaverse” even existed before it is certainly the very definition of hype. “NFT” was the second most popular term, appearing in 18% of the group studied, or a total of 118 apps. The words “AR” and “VR” were found in 11% and 9% of the “Metaverse” apps, respectively.
The term “metaverse” was surprisingly used in a wide variety of apps, not just games and crypto finance apps.
However, mobile game publishers led the way in adopting the keyword, as 107 apps in the games category now refer to the term, or 19% of the studied apps. The second largest category where the term appeared was finance, which accounted for 101 of the “metaverse” apps. It is followed by Social (70 apps), Entertainment (57 apps), Books (37 apps), Lifestyle (33 apps), Tools (26 apps), Business (25 apps). Art & Design (13 Apps) & Education (11 Apps.)
Whether adding the word “metaverse” to these apps is working to bring in users is less clear. While it has apparently been adopted to capitalize on users’ App Store searches for the word, apps that are successful in this market are likely providing a better user experience than those that are not.