While the concept of "metaverse" is nothing new — it has its origins in Neal Stephenson's 1992 novel Snow Crash — the term has only grown in popularity over the last decade. An example of this is the recent name change of Facebook to Meta, something that seems to have triggered the action of many companies to enter this sector, especially in China.
While giants like Baidu, Tencent and Alibaba Group have rushed to invest heavily in developing their own metaverses, it seems that creativity and cunning have got the upper hand so far; this is the case of SOUL App Metaverse, a simple metaverse social platform that in the last two years has managed to position itself among the 100 most downloaded apps with the highest profits worldwide, also emerging as the leader of its segment in China. How did it do it?
The metaverse, an extension of reality or an alternate reality? To get started, it's important that you grab a couple of things about the metaverse; this virtual world that big tech companies want to turn into the next evolution of the Internet, is not simply an experience similar to a 3D video game like those you can enjoy on the best next-generation consoles, it's something more complex.
Ultimately, the metaverse is the point where various technologies that have evolved over the years, some older than others, converge and mix with each other. There we have the example of "old" technologies such as virtual reality, ugmented reality or artificial intelligence, are the concepts that were already rudimentarily visualized since the middle of the last century. Along with this, the video games industry has been incorporating many of these technologies into its products along with its history, especially in online gaming.
Finally, with the arrival of blockchain technology, such as NFTs and high-speed Internet, the missing piece to complete the puzzle appeared: the possibility of creating a virtual environment with its own economy - which in many cases is extrapolated to the real world in which users can explore, create, interact and share their experiences with almost total freedom through different mechanisms.
In other words, an expression of reality, but with a life of its own and that, thanks to the aforementioned components, promises levels of interaction with technology that has never been seen before in history.
SOUL Metaverse, social immersive experience for new generations
According to statistics from Sensor Tower, a mobile data analytics platform, Soul App has more than 100 million users worldwide and although most of these users come from China, there is a growing number of users from English-speaking countries. This growth has remained constant in the last two years and even today, more than 30% of users remain active each month.
It's likely that the success of this app is related to the simplicity of its proposal in combination with a correct selection of the market segment — young people between 18 and 24 years old — and the right marketing strategy, taking advantage of the fact that the term "metaverse" is a current trend in the world of technology.
As an example, the first hook of SOUL is that it's free to use with optional internal purchases. Users just need to download it and complete a simple personality test that will assign each user to one or another "planet" where they can meet other people with similar interests.