Newly released research from British metaverse tech firm Improbable finds that metaverse conversations on Twitter provide interesting insights into the expected and established industries that engaged early in exploring these new frontiers—but such conversations also reveal opportunities that await organizations and individuals to get unexpected visibility as they become first movers in their field to explore the metaverse.
Following the firm’s previous report on Twitter conversations (#Metaversations), this latest entry in the series explores how key industries lean into the metaverse, and what is driving these conversations on Twitter.
Key research findings include:
Gaming is the most prevalent industry in Twitter conversations—despite its metaverse reticence
Gaming and finance, with respective overrepresentation scores of 100 and 65, lead the ranking. For gaming, this presents a paradox. Much of the gaming industry has proven skeptical about the metaverse and how much better it could be than high-end first party games. Yet it’s dominating the conversation as the most advanced industry with the capabilities to develop—and closest experiences to date with—metaversal experiences.
Elsewhere, entertainment’s various branches have uneven levels of representation. Cinema’s score (8) is half that of music (16), for example. Fashion and luxury each outpace both but combined (88) are still overshadowed by gaming.
That the idea of the metaverse is three times as prevalent in conversations about luxury as in conversations about music stresses indeed the wide disparity that exists in terms of metaverse maturity and adoption.
Entertainment generates most Twitter interactions in metaverse conversations—but luxury brands are close behind
Gaming leads on engagement, with an average of 39.2 interactions per tweet, followed by music (23.7) and cinema (23.5). All have a potent mix of economic firepower, close-enough visible metaverse experiments and passionate fan bases that can build excitement and drive engagement.
Less expected is luxury being close behind on 21.2 interactions per tweet. But luxury brands have been bullish on the metaverse, being early to run virtual runway shows and bringing collectables into virtual spaces to give people new ways to express themselves.
Twitter conversations reflect a world map for the metaverse centered on cultural hubs—not ‘Big Tech’
London is the city with the most mentions associated with the metaverse on Twitter (286), ahead of Dubai (243), Paris (201), Manchester (193) and Miami (188). Notably and unexpectedly absent: US ‘Big Tech’ West Coast cities and Chinese industrial hubs commonly linked with the metaverse.
That said, real-life geographic industrial edges are elsewhere reflected in Twitter metaverse discussions: Manchester has the most mentions in sport (164, double its nearest rival); Dubai and Asian financial centers Singapore and Hong Kong lead in finance; and Western trio Paris, New York City and London top fashion.
However, gaming proves anomalous, with oft-cited gaming hubs (Tokyo; Montreal; San Francisco) largely or entirely absent.
Established brands from traditional industries hold up well in Twitter metaverse conversations
The study’s top communities had common interests around Web3, with 20.2 percent defined as ‘general tech enthusiasts’ and 15.1 percent as ‘NFT artists and traders’.
Despite these communities being positive about Web3, there’s no observed dominance of Web3-native companies in tweets about any industry, except finance. There, Binance’s 2,671 mentions far outstrip every other top-ten entrant.
In some cases, well-established brands lead the way: Gucci in luxury; Nike in fashion. A commonality is these companies being very early in running experiences in the metaverse, showcasing opportunities for others to exist in this space, even if their main focus is elsewhere.
Being associated with the metaverse on Twitter gains attention—even with brief showings
Setting foot in the metaverse provides a leadership boost. In music, BTS has twice as many mentions (4,169) as second-placed MTV (2,122). No-one will be shocked to see Snoop Dogg (1,532) on the most-mentioned music metaverse list, given his metaverse music video and metaverse-inspired VMAs performance, but Slash (102) and Foo Fighters (90) make appearances too—a surprise, until you realize they’ve each held a metaverse concert.
The study was conducted by digital media agency Reputation Squad for Improbable. The dataset comprises 487,902 tweets about the metaverse and selected traditional industries, written by 134,603 users, and collected between 14 September 2021 and 14 September 2022. All Twitter data was collected via the Twitter API and analysed using in-house tools.