Emerging world is far more upbeat about the metaverse than developed countries

Developing countries are optimistic about the upcoming era of the metaverse. In contrast, high-income countries tend to be less enthusiastic, a new survey by Ipsos for the World Economic Forum revealed.

The global metaverse market, estimated at $110 billion, is projected to reach approximately $760 billion by 2026.

Half of the adults across 29 countries say they are familiar with the metaverse. Another half of the respondents have positive feelings about engaging with extended reality (XR) in their daily routine.

The survey also shows that developing countries are far more excited about the metaverse than developed economies. For example, less than a third of respondents from the UK, Japan, Belgium, Canada, and Germany feel positive about engaging with XR. Meanwhile, more than two-thirds of people in China, India, Peru, Saudi Arabia, and Columbia are excited about the metaverse's opportunities.

People believe that the metaverse will significantly change our way of learning, entertainment, work, gaming, socializing, and many other aspects of life.

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"The positive sentiments and high expectations around the metaverse's impact in everyday life indicate an increasing readiness for its adoption. To meet this opportunity, we need to make sure that the economic potential and corresponding governance frameworks are realized in a fair and equitable manner for all," Cathy Li, Head, Shaping the Future of Media, Entertainment & Sport at the World Economic Forum said.

During the annual forum in Davos, the World Economic Forum announced a new initiative, Defining and Building the Metaverse, to bring together more than 60 leading technology and other sector companies alongside experts, academics, and civil society to accelerate the development of governance and policy frameworks for the metaverse.

"The Defining and Building the Metaverse initiative provides the industry with an essential toolkit for ethically and responsibly building the metaverse. This will help ensure that we can fully harness this vital medium for social and economic interconnectivity in an inclusive, ethical and transformative manner," Jeremy Jurgens, managing director at World Economic Forum, said.

In a recent interview with Cybernews, Gary LaFever, CEO of Anonos, said that we need to fix what's broken in today's internet before expecting it to be better in the metaverse.

"Some people will have the metaverse experience equivalent to dial-up when others are on broadband. Or, there could be people with their early metaverse behaviors following them without the means to reset them. Imagine if our 2010 Twitter / Facebook activity determined our current online experiences? The metaverse could be like that for some," Gary LaFever, CEO of Anonos, said.