The Metaverse Will Be Like the Dot-Com Rush for Businesses With Eric Kim
August 27, 2022
MP chatted with Eric Kim, who joined Bigo Live in 2019 and currently serves as North America’s Senior Operations Director. Kim ensures alignment from all teams on projects and directives coming down from HQ are executed efficiently and to the best of their ability. He believes that human connection is one of the most valuable experiences and is passionate that live streaming technology provides a mobile and convenient solution for many to interact and connect.
What barriers prevent businesses from entering the Metaverse, and why?
Like any new technology, getting the Metaverse up and running with a large-scale functionality can take a long time.
Enterprises should be prepared that not all metaverse installations will succeed. Businesses are trying to recreate what society values in the physical world (i.e., city centers, business hubs, etc.). However, when things go digital, it reinterprets what is happening in the physical space.
In addition, lockdown made humans cherish and see the value in connecting and owning things that allow us to represent ourselves in the digital form.
The barriers that arise could be that saturated market where every company creates its Metaverse and won’t allow cross-platform compatibility.
Not being able to work with other organizations and share users will create a huge hurdle and do little to incentivize them to create their Metaverse.
What roles will businesses and consumers play in the Metaverse, and how will such roles redefine how businesses operate?
The Metaverse promises that people can access everything from everywhere, and those investing in space are likely anticipating a world with a more decentralized internet.
Their role for businesses will be similar to the dot-com rush from the early 90s.
At the time, this was viewed as the desired real estate, and many wanted to invest in what was “the next big thing” before the bubble burst.
Every URL operates essentially as a piece of land on the internet, and businesses will treat their Metaverse as the same.
For consumers, the Metaverse hopes it will look like what you see in pop culture and entertainment like “The Matrix” or “Ready Player One.”
Consumers, or users, have this fantasy of plugging into a headset or turning on a monitor and being completely immersed in a virtual world with endless possibilities for exploration and interactions.
On a more tangible level, consumers’ roles will be focused on immersive experiences and Metaverse transactions. The Metaverse will rely on users to make purchases and sell things to keep a completely digital economy thriving.
How is the Metaverse likely to transform commerce as we know it, what issues could potentially arise, and why?
Simply put, the Metaverse will make online shopping more immersive.
The ability to virtually “try on” or preview a purchase without ever needing to leave your living room will completely transform online shopping.
Shopping virtually will be just as immersive as IRL, where customers can see and touch products.
Thinking further, you will see companies making virtual hires in the Metaverse to engage with customers.
These could be employees who have never worked in a brick-and-mortar store or even met co-workers but will have full employment opportunities virtually.
How will age-restricted content be handled in the Metaverse, and why?
I can only make an educated guess on this matter, but our policies at Bigo Live have an age restriction of 18 years old and up to ensure a safe and inclusive environment.
This ensures that the people using our social media platform is not underage and can be responsible on the platform.
Parental controls and company guidelines will have to be enforced in the Metaverse to limit the amount of online bullying and harassment and ensure that younger users aren’t being scammed out of money or taken advantage of. We constantly see stories of microtransactions on games and apps that young people play, which will be no different in the Metaverse.
How will the Metaverse enable businesses to reach and monetize their existing customers?
As Metaverse is supposed to be open, interconnected, and inclusive, it will give more empowerment to users and allow them to co-create with businesses and platforms.
Everyone can find their own identities and have the opportunity to monetize through their creations. For example, at Bigo Live, we introduced and launched ‘Virtual Live,’ a new interactive feature that allows users to create personalized virtual 3D avatars to represent themselves and communicate with others.
The ‘Virtual Live’ feature is developed using virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technology to capture realistic facial expressions and mimic user movements as they live stream in real-time.
This initial touch of Metaverse can allow us to enhance the social connection between our users, reinvent the live streaming experience, and offer infinite possibilities for virtual interactions.
How will the Metaverse serve as a platform to enable businesses to reach new audiences, and why does it matter?
In our current era of platforms, content is king.
I think the community is king in the upcoming race for the Metaverse.
The new “exclusive” is the energy or vibe a community builds since a valuable community is much more delicate than just the sum of the parts.
Roblox, for example, is a beautiful community. It will be an authentic community because so many young people within it will be at the forefront of the Metaverse community, having spent most of their lives in it.
How can a poorly executed Metaverse strategy adversely affect a brand, and how can such a disaster be avoided?
We are in the “space race” phase of the Metaverse, which makes it difficult to say how a poorly executed strategy could affect a brand.
The main thought is that the Metaverse is the hottest term in tech right now, and everyone is trying to create their Metaverse.
You are going to see some that fail or become something else entirely. Brilliant individual developers will likely be at the forefront of owning their respective spaces.
Roblox, for example, is a beautiful community and will be authentic because so many young people within it will be at the forefront of the metaverse community, having spent most of their lives on it.
How will the Metaverse expose businesses and consumers to new types of fraud, and what steps can be taken to prevent such nefarious acts?
Some with intentional bad purposes may hide in the virtual space to conduct misbehaviors like the breach of individual privacy.
At the first point, we should all be equipped with safety and self-protection awareness and knowledge while also starting to build security systems and rules together as we are in the real world, which shall be tailored to the new world.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
The Metaverse is ever-evolving, and companies will need to evolve with it constantly.
There are opportunities for social media networks to have a large influence in the Metaverse, and Bigo Live, the world’s leading live streaming platform, has begun taking the necessary steps forward to ensure we are at the forefront of this Metaverse movement.
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