More People Will Spend ‘At Least One Hour a Day’ in the Metaverse by 2026

The metaverse is going to get a lot more action in the next few years.

By 2026, 25% of people will spend at least one hour a day in the metaverse for work, shopping, education, social and/or entertainment, according to research from insight firm Gartner.

Because no single vendor will own the space, Gartner expects it to have a budding virtual economy enabled by digital currencies and nonfungible tokens (NFTs) and will impact every business that consumers interact with every day.

“Vendors are already building ways for users to replicate their lives in digital worlds,” said Marty Resnick, research VP at Gartner in a statement. “From attending virtual classrooms to buying digital land and constructing virtual homes, these activities are currently being conducted in separate environments. Eventually, they will take place in a single environment – the metaverse – with multiple destinations across technologies and experiences.”

Gartner also noted that the metaverse will also impact how work gets done. The firm expects enterprises to provide better engagement, collaboration, and connection to their employees through immersive workspaces in virtual offices. And virtual events that have gained popularity over the last 18 months will offer more collaborative and immersive networking opportunities and workshops.

“Enterprises will have the ability to expand and enhance their business models in unprecedented ways by moving from a digital business to a metaverse business,” added Resnick. “By 2026, 30% of the organizations in the world will have products and services ready for metaverse.”

This news comes as more and more fashion and footwear companies debut new metaverse activations.

Timberland is the latest footwear brand to make a metaverse play with the launch of its TimbsTrails gamified experience.

In the last few months, multiple brands have announced forays into the metaverse, either via virtual games, products or NFTs. In December alone, Nike, Adidas and Under Armour all announced new metaverse initiatives. New Balance filed three trademark applications in mid-January. Gucci announced it is teaming up with animated celebrity and digital collectibles creator Superplastic to launch a slew of new NFT releases last month. And, Prada joined forces yet again with Adidas for their latest “re-source” NFT project created in partnership with digital artist Zach Lieberman.

What’s more, the metaverse saw its first major legal spat last week which saw Nike filing a lawsuit against StockX, alleging that the sneaker resale marketplace used Nike’s trademarked logos and products in attempts to enter the NFT market.

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