Metaverse is the latest trend in the tech world, an online virtual reality that has caught everyone’s attention this year. In October, Facebook made public its intention to hire 10,000 people in the European Union in order to set up a metaverse.
Likewise, the universe of dating apps re-invents its ways so as to incorporate, if not even welcome, these changes. Both Tinder and Bumble have embraced a metaverse ecosystem, altering people’s online interactions through their platform.
Apps are drastically remodeling the dating landscape, including a multitude of new possibilities with which they captivate their customers. Virtual first dates that can take place anywhere in the world, avatars or digital coins are a few of the latest features of such apps.
The scope of the metaverse is to enable the overlap between people’s digital and physical lives in several areas, including socialization. Considering the pandemic made face-to-face meetings harder and harder, the dating world expanded online experiences to keep partners involved.
Dating in the metaverse can take many forms, from people’s avatars moving around, participating in different activities, to joining others in diverse virtual locations to the possibility of private connections.
What does “metaverse” actually mean? The term was first used in the dystopian novel “Snow Crash”, published in 1992, with a similar meaning to the one today. “Metaverse” depicts a 3D shared space, where the physical and digital intersect and that can be accessed across more than one platform. It is a virtual reality substitute of the internet, regarded as the future by many.
The technology behind metaverse can be of great utility. For instance, using only an internet connection and VR glasses, it is able to create the illusion of two people being close to each other, although they are thousands of miles apart.
“The metaverse has the potential to help unlock access to new creative, social, and economic opportunities. And Europeans will be shaping it right from the start,” Facebook said in a blog post.
Earlier this year, prior to the Facebook announcement, other startups discreetly announced they were working on virtual dating apps, different versions of the metaverse, and of course dating in the metaverse.
Given the impact recent events have had on our lives, the post-pandemic dating world is certainly different. Many of the traditional dating behaviors became impossible, or at least limited, and suddenly it felt like almost everyone was in a long distance relationship.
One of the consequences of Covid-19 is people getting more and more used to video calls. That is a trend likely to apply to all aspects of our daily lives, dating included. And there seems to be a very small step between a video call date and a date in the metaverse.
Another way in which the pandemic affected the dating world is making people more open to each other and more honest about each other. We now talk to other people from our own homes, surrounded by our families. It has become rather complicated to pretend to be something we’re not, to hide our own selves and the way we feel about things. It is a high chance all this honesty remains a feature of post-pandemic dating.
Living through a pandemic proved that you can still have a social life without meeting in bars or restaurants. People currently enjoy spending more time outdoors, going for walks, picnics or hikes. It is expected that this tendency spans into the dating world as well.
The metaverse dating platform is actually an interface between multiple users that enables them to share various and complex experiences, superior to the old Tinder Swipe.
Dating apps with a metaverse system are based on the concept of avatars, a digital expression of a person. They create virtual spaces, from bars and restaurants to park benches, that turn into meeting places for real-time audio-powered avatars.
Picture, for example, a piano bar where digital versions of people meet up to jam, but in reality, people play their own pianos, in their own homes. Users can listen to or join different conversations and furthermore, they can check avatars’ profiles to gather more data about the people they want to interact with.
Within the metaverse universe, dating experiences are much closer to the ones in real life and therefore more fulfilling and exciting, not to mention the greater number of options the virtual world provides. You can choose to have dates in places you have always dreamt of, but never got to visit.
Online platforms have always been so much more important to people involved in long distance relationships. With metaverse dating, long distance couples can enjoy being with each other beyond the “classic” video call. They can explore new adventures and feel closer to each other because their avatars can touch, hold hands or hug. It is a great way to break the routine and to keep the passion alive, even at a distance.
The main challenge of the metaverse online platforms is to create a practical environment where all users feel safe and at ease with their digital selves. In the near future, dating apps will compete to create wholesome experiences, much more than the usual “look, rate and swipe” approach of present online dating.
While currently on social media platforms you are only a username or perhaps a picture, in the metaverse you are represented by a personalized avatar that is able to speak, move and even perform diverse operations.
The notion of “avatar” has already been introduced in several online games starting with the ‘90s. Yet an avatar’s potential and abilities have evolved significantly over the last years. Recent updates allow users a higher level of control of their avatars, mimic their gestures and virtually interact with others.
Dating in the metaverse is the next best option to a traditional, face-to-face date, and the actual best option for people in long distance relationships. Without dismantling the value of real-life interactions, the metaverse technology makes people feel truly connected online.