The Metaverse: A Universe That Nobody Wants to Visit?

A tweet posted in the middle of October 2022 wreaked havoc in the Web3 community. A Twitter user published data showing Decentraland’s daily user count, which led to a disappointing discovery– according to this tweet, Decentraland has only 30 daily active users on average.

But how is that possible, and is the information shared in the tweet correct? More importantly, what’s the solution for this issue? Here’s what’s known so far.

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Metaverse

Illustration: Milica Mijajlovic

How Do People Feel about the Metaverse? 

The metaverse is an immersive virtual reality world that supports and encourages social interactions. However, it doesn’t refer to just one digital environment – Metaverse is a buzzword for dozens of virtual worlds in an online space.  

Although the metaverse hasn’t reached its full potential, tech giants confidently invest in these online universes. That said, no wonder Statista’s estimates show that the metaverse’s market size may stand at 678.8 billion US dollars in 2030. 

Furthermore, only five distinct regions comprise the metaverse market: North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Middle East & Africa, and South America. With a market value of roughly 8,1 Billion in 2024, North America will hold the most significant market share, according to the Metaverse Market Research Report

But how do people feel about the metaverse?  

As North America is the most invested in the metaverse, let’s examine how Americans responded to this question. 

A Statista research shows that 33% of US participants feel curious about metaverse, while 27% feel uninterested. The same research shows that 19% of participants have concerns regarding the metaverse, while 18% and 16% feel excited and optimistic, respectively. 

Decentraland

Source: Statista

Only a month before this research was published, a separate Statista survey showed what motivates people to join the metaverse. According to a Statista survey conducted in December 2021, 74% of Americans said they planned to join or considered entering the metaverse.  

Overall, 41% of respondents said they wanted to join the metaverse to experience things they couldn’t live in the real world. Similarly, 38% thought it might be an excellent way to bring people together, and 23% of respondents claimed they wished to join the metaverse so they could become someone new. 

VR headset

Source: Statista

All in all, people have valid reasons for joining the metaverse.  

But is the hype around Metaverse real? 

Is it Lonely in the Metaverse? 

Web 3.0 community was shaken to the core when a Twitter user shared with the community that Decentraland, a prominent metaverse, has only a few dozen daily users. The Twitter user took the data from DappRadar, an international app store for decentralized applications.  

According to Coin Telegraph, DappRadar data suggested that a billion-dollar online ecosystem such as Decentraland has only 30 active daily users. Of course, this sudden news started a riot on Twitter, with users making fun of Decentraland and stating their disbelief regarding the DappRadar data. 

So, was the information published by a Twitter user incorrect, or are other factors contributing to such a low daily user count? 

Decentraland

Photo illustration: Freepik

After the tweet received attention from the general public, DappRadar published a new blog post explaining this data calculation. Apparently, the DappRadar team tracks the number of transactions and their volume across different decentralized applications, which isn’t an accurate representation of daily active users in a specific online space.  

In other words, a user needs to make a blockchain transaction to be counted by DappRadar. With that in mind, the collected data doesn’t accurately represent active users, as users don’t have to make transactions during their sessions on Decentraland.  
– The standard measurement for the DappRadar Rankings is the Unique Active Wallets (UAW). This key metric shows which dapp has the most user wallets interacting with it and therefore sits on top of the charts – Writes Robert Hoogendoorn, head of DappRadar content, for the DappRadar blog

How Did Decentraland Respond to These Tweets? 

Soon after the first tweet was published, Decentraland responded by providing more information about the way DappRadar calculates daily users. 

After stating that some websites confuse blockchain transactions with daily active user data, Decentraland went the extra mile to defend itself against false accusations.  

Furthermore, DappRadar’s blog shows that this inconvenience brought the companies closer together. According to the DappRadar blog, the companies will partner up to provide more accurate data about Decentraland users. 
– The development of metaverse worlds is fast-moving as more users and brands find their way into this virtual universe. The key metrics DappRadar provides are based on smart contracts, which are mainly submitted by dapp developers. The Decentraland team is currently updating their list of smart contracts and we’re therefore recalculating their metrics – confirms Robert Hoogendoorn in a recent DappRadar blog post.  

Why Don’t Metaverses Have More Users? 

Based on Decentraland’s tweets, this metaverse has roughly 57,000 active monthly users

But Decentraland is one of the most popular interactive universes, so why doesn’t it have more users?  

Based on these numbers, Decentraland on average has less than 2,000 active users per day. Compared to Minecraft user data, which showcases that the game has roughly three million active users per day, Decentraland is too far behind.  

So, let’s include another variable to understand these data differences better.  

Minecraft has been around since 2011, while Decentraland appeared on the scene in 2020. Minecraft allowed children to do pretty much anything in an online space long before Decentraland was even developed, so the difference in daily users isn’t a revelation.  

Still, one of the primary reasons Decentraland can’t hope for millions of active daily users yet is that people don’t have access to equipment that allows them to fully experience the beauty of the metaverse. 

VR headset

Photo illustration: Freepik

The average VR headset price in the US in 2022 is $420, and it’s expected to remain the same in the following years. Of course, cheaper models exist on the market, but they aren’t always the best substitute, as low-quality VR goggles can affect eye health and cause headaches

How Can Metaverses Attract More Users? 

Metaverses aren’t as popular as other online environments. So, what can companies do to attract more users to their virtual worlds? 

Investing in good marketing strategies is only the tip of the iceberg. Users must feel drawn to a particular world to use it daily. As technology progresses, developers should add more features to metaverses and make them more appealing.  

Additionally, VR headsets should be affordable and comfortable to wear. Suppose we want to fully emerge in a virtual reality world. In that case, companies that make headsets must deliver comfortable yet practical devices that won’t cause pain, anxiety any other mental or physical discomfort.  

Furthermore, the fuse with the metaverse should happen slowly. If users get pushed into an immersive virtual reality without any support in this transition, they will likely resist the change. 

Jelena is a content writer dedicated to learning about all things crypto. Her hobbies are playing chess, drawing, baking, and going on long walks. During winter, she usually spends her leisure time reading books.