Zuckerberg Puts Metaverse On Hold, Property Holds Its Breath
Mark Zuckerberg has sent an autumn chill through the seasonless metaverse property market.
The Facebook founder and Meta boss has ordered a “quality lockdown” until 2023 after bugs and quality issues disrupted early iterations of his 3D digital platform. Some investors are reported to have declared the platform univestable without further work, the Financial Times reported.
The heat has been coming out of the metaverse property market all year with investment volumes down 97% from a peak of $229M in November 2021.
Yet despite some significant deals, such as blockchain company Tokens.com expanding its virtual real estate business, Metaverse Group, and buying another one, the upbeat mood has turned.
The cooling has come as investors realise that property, even virtual property, doesn’t have a value unless and until people are using it. Buying property without knowing where the hot locations might be has been described as “just the dumbest shit ever.” Last month U.S. regulators warned about scams.
Now it looks like Facebook founder and metaverse advocate Zuckerberg has doubts about the practical execution of $10B a year metaverse plans, even if his commitment to the concept remains undimmed.
The Zuckerberg decisions emerged as investors launched Madalia World. The virtual territory includes 500 NFT “plots” of 7 acres, 20 acres or more, and comes with permission to “build” due to virtual building permits issued by the regional government of Madeira.
Some commentators remain hopeful that the metaverse can prove useful in the near term.
The appeal for most property businesses is strictly virtual, according to Cushman & Wakefield. Metaverse real estate allows them to mine data about customer preferences to help design real world properties.
Contrary to what some believe, the metaverse is less a substitute for business location and more of a complement to it, futurist and designer Tiffany Puilgrim said last month before the Zuckerberg decision was disclosed.
“As a result, companies will have to think more strategically about where to place offices and innovation hubs to attract and connect talent and how to balance their physical and virtual footprints,” she said.