What challenges does the metaverse pose? Developers say data privacy security, disinformation & hate speech
According to a study, surveyed developers pointed to data privacy security, disinformation and hate speech as the most potent challenges of the metaverse.
A new kind of social media is on the horizon, where developers touch users in an unprecedented way, the metaverse. While this fills us with awe and inspiration, all isn’t hunky dory when it comes to shaking hands virtually.
We already know the pitfalls of data privacy and fake news. We will see this on a metaverse version, says this commissioned study that examined how developers feel about the current state and inevitable evolution of the metaverse.
According to the study conducted by Agora, Inc. (NASDAQ: API), a platform for real-time engagement APIs, surveyed developers pointed to data privacy security, disinformation and hate speech as the most potent challenges of the metaverse.
The metaverse is an interactive space combining real-life social interaction with extended reality (XR) and even has been labelled a game-changer by many experts across a wide range of industries. For developers, the growth of the metaverse allows the development of new communities and allows them to better connect with users.
For the study, Agora surveyed 300 developers to get their thoughts on a wide range of topics and ideas relating to the metaverse. Here’s a closer look at what they found.
Data privacy: The biggest challenge in the metaverse
Like anything relating to technology, the metaverse is not without its challenges. And according to the survey, 33% of respondents believe that data privacy and security are the biggest hurdles that the metaverse has to overcome.
Other top challenges that the metaverse will see include ecosystem interoperability (12%), disinformation and hate speech (10%), community building (10%), accessible tools for developers (9%), monetization (8%), creating a currency and payments ecosystem (7%), identifying users (5%) and lackluster hardware (5%).
It’ll be interesting to see the rate at which these issues are addressed and if it’s ultimately enough to make people feel safe
“Since data privacy seems to be at the top of everyone’s mind today, it’s not surprising that developers believe that security issues stand to be a major headache in the evolution of the metaverse,” Tony Zhao, founder and CEO of Agora.
“It’ll be interesting to see the rate at which these issues are addressed and if it’s ultimately enough to make people feel safe.”
Gaming & entertainment/leisure will benefit the most
No matter how you slice it, the evolution of the metaverse will impact a wide range of sectors. However, the developers surveyed put gaming and entertainment at the top, with 26% each. Telecommunications (12%) and retail/ecommerce (11%) were other top industries that respondents think will be positively impacted by the metaverse, as well as healthcare/medicine (6%), and education, design/manufacturing and workforce each with 5%.
When asked if real-time engagement technology (interactive, two-way digital video and audio) will be the solution to creating a more engaging and connected experience for the metaverse, 72% believe it will be critical, while 5% think it won’t be a prominent factor and 22% feel neutral about it.
The metaverse: A future location for social interactions
Could the metaverse replace real-life, in-person social interactions and experiences?
More than half (55%) said that it was likely in 5 years, while 30% said it was unlikely and 15% felt neutral.
If things continue at the current rate, there’s a very real chance that the metaverse could mark the centre of future human interaction
“With more screens than ever, in-person interactions are already dwindling today,” said Zhao. “And inside the metaverse, growing technology is already making social experiences even better and more desirable thanks in large part to advancements in XR. So if things continue at the current rate, there’s a very real chance that the metaverse could mark the centre of future human interaction.”
Currency seems to be one of the most-talked about areas surrounding the metaverse. For example, will the role of NFTs continue to grow and become the biggest form of currency?
53% of those surveyed agree, while 24% disagree and 23% feel neutral.
Will the role of NFTs continue to grow and become the biggest form of currency?
Further, 57% of respondents think that the metaverse will become the most popular place to buy, store and trade cryptocurrency, while 18% disagree and 25% feel neutral. When asked if cryptocurrency and blockchain technology advancements will be critical to shaping the future of the metaverse, 70% of those surveyed agree, while 9% disagree and 21% feel neutral.
Who will own the metaverse?
Ownership of the metaverse seems a relevant and somewhat scary question.
Unsurprisingly, when asked what company owns the metaverse concept at the moment, Facebook/Meta was the most common response as more than half (55%) of respondents put it on top. The other top responses weren’t surprising either: Google (9%), Microsoft (7%), Apple (6%) and Amazon (5%) were the other companies that developers currently have metaverse clout.
So which company will likely own the metaverse in 5 years?
So which company will likely own the metaverse in 5 years?
A quarter of them think there won’t be a single company who will retain full control, while another quarter believe that Facebook/Meta will continue to be at the forefront. Other responses include Google (15%), Microsoft (12%), Apple (8%) and Amazon (7%).
What About Addiction?
Some good goes hand in hand. An insurance company, Digit Insurance, recently announced that it has served nearly 10 lakh customer requests via WhatsApp in less than two years. The feature helped the company move towards a self-service model to enhance customer journey and experience. Using WhatsApp self-service allows Digit’s customers to get real-time resolutions to their queries.
Read more: The Metaverse and its future
However, we are quite caught in the clutches of social media addiction. A study found that the effects of Dark Triad traits (Narcissism, Machiavellianism, and Psychopathy) were positive and significant on Instagram addiction.
Even social media owners ban their kids from the very social media they promote with such vigour.