According to a survey conducted for the World Economic Forum (WEF), and currently meeting in Davos, excitement over the emergence of the Metaverse and virtual or augmented reality (VR/AR) is much greater in developing countries than in high-income countries.
The survey conducted by Ipsos, a well-known market research firm, showed that recognition of what the Metaverse is has increased with 52% of more than 21,000 adults surveyed across 29 countries saying they are familiar with it, and 50% have positive feelings about engaging with it in daily life.
The countries where people have the most positive feelings towards it are China, India, Peru, Saudi Arabia, and Colombia. In these countries two-thirds or more of respondents said they had positive feelings towards it. China is the most enthusiastic with 78% having positive feelings toward using a Metaverse daily, followed by India at 75%.
On the other side of the coin, the world’s high-income countries showed a more negative response to it. Japan scored the lowest with just 22% exhibiting positive feelings followed by the United Kingdom (26%), Belgium (30%), Canada (30%), France (31%), and Germany (31%). It was also interesting to note that people surveyed in these countries had much less understanding of the concept of the Metaverse, with fewer than 30% in France, Belgium and Germany having a good grasp of it.
Of those who knew most about it, Turkey was most familiar with the Metaverse at 86%, followed by India (80%), China (73%), but also the higher income country of South Korea (71%).
And which countries thought the Metaverse could make a positive contribution to life, and to which areas of life? Developing countries such as South Africa, China and India agreed areas like virtual learning, entertainment, and even applications like remote surgery would make an impact on people’s lives. Again respondents from high income Japan, Belgium and France had the lowest percentages of those who agreed that Metaverse applications would significantly change people’s lives.
No doubt there are many conclusions to be drawn from this survey, particularly about why developing economies are more pro-Metaverse than those who lead the world table in terms of their economies. Is the answer something as simple as they see the Metaverse as offering hope, opportunities and more when you live in a weaker economy?