KPMG: 78% of US adults will socialize with friends in the Metaverse

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People may not know what the Metaverse has in store for them outside of games, but the vast majority of American adults are ready to dive in, according to a KPMG survey.

Whether they agree or not, the Metaverse captures the imagination of Americans. KPMG said about 78% of US adults in a survey said they see value in immersive interactions like socializing with friends and family, while 76% say they see value in on-the-job training in the Metaverse.

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Additionally, 59% of US adults say they expect the Metaverse to have a significant impact on their lives in the next 12 months, and another 48% report a significant impact in the next 5 years.

“While it’s still in its infancy, American adults are increasingly adapting to creating life-like experiences in the ‘phygital’ world,” Cliff Justice, KPMG’s head of business innovation, said in a press release. “With each interaction, people become more and more accustomed to daily activities in the metaverse. From banking to telemedicine to learning and working, the medium we use to communicate and communicate is constantly evolving into the virtual.

KPMG surveyed 1,000 American adults between the ages of 18 and 65. (If you’d like to learn more about the metaverse, speakers at our GamesBeat Summit Next 2022 event will talk about it, including Sim City creator Will Wright, co-founder of Gallium; and Matthew Ball, Epyllion CEO and popular book author, The Metaverse.

Growing impact

Metaverse sources of knowledge.

The metaverse has the potential to revolutionize the way businesses and consumers engage, transact, socialize and operate, KPMG said. Of those who participate in the Metaverse, 92% of respondents say it improves learning opportunities, including vocational training, school and higher education, while 86% say the Metaverse provides opportunities for entrepreneurship, including marketing and sales.

Whether or not consumers engage with the metaverse, a majority of American adults are interested in virtual experiences. In addition to socializing, telemedicine (72%), virtual shopping apps (67%), virtual work (65%) and business creation (51%) came out on top.

The road to widespread adoption is progressing at a steady pace, but existing skepticism can create obstacles along the way. Confidentiality (80%) and the protection of personal information (79%) were the top concerns according to the survey.

Likewise, feeling safe about privacy and the security of personal information were the most important factors in encouraging participation. Increasing access to affordable technology and customizable avatars are also the most frequently cited ways to increase diversity, equality and inclusion (DEI) in the metaverse, at 38% and 36% respectively.

Nearly a third (30%) of respondents say ensuring metaverse environments accessible to people with disabilities should be the priority in this category.

“As businesses and people still understand the potential scope and scale of the impact of the metaverse, we must prioritize inclusive, safe and secure practices to protect users and ensure experiences are customizable,” said Justice. “The reluctance to innovate is low and it’s time to embed these priorities across all technologies as they continue to evolve.”

As part of its strategic roadmap for innovation, KPMG in the United States recently partnered with KPMG in Canada to launch its Metaverse Collaboration Hub where employees, customers and communities can connect, engage and explore growth opportunities across industries and sectors . The company has formed a dedicated team to help clients develop and execute their own metaverse strategies.

Main findings

People look forward to virtual experiences.

Forging Metaverse Connections:

  • 78% of all respondents say the metaverse allows or could allow them to have personal connections with friends and family.
  • 76% of all respondents say the Metaverse improves or could improve learning opportunities such as vocational training and higher education.
  • 66% of all respondents say it offers the same benefits as social media, but in a more immersive way.

Millennials (69%) and Gen Z (61%) lead the way when it comes to being excited about the Metaverse, followed by Gen X (44%). About 59% of US adults expect a significant impact from the Metaverse in the next five years, and 48% expect a significant impact in the next 12 months.

Current metaverse users are most satisfied with their virtual experiences. Among those who participated in the Metaverse, top experiences included business creation (91%), collaborative online games and simulations (91%) and immersive virtual experiences created by brands (87%).

Current Metaverse users also report virtual presence at work or school training (96%), business meetings (82%), virtual classrooms (72%) and government meetings (71%) as the best experiences.

A majority of American adults, regardless of their current participation in the metaverse, are interested in virtual experiences. Top interests include virtual meetings with family and friends (73%), telemedicine (72%), virtual shopping apps (67%), virtual work (65%) and creating a business (51%).

And 32% of respondents are open but indecisive about participating in the metaverse. Of this group, 31% is less familiar with the metaverse.

Pathways to more engagement

Respondents say privacy is the top concern 79% when using the metaverse tracking of personal information (79%).

Gen Z respondents care most about avatar personalization (42%), with 36% of total respondents saying it is DEI’s top concern. Nearly a third (30%) of respondents say ensuring metaverse environments accessible to people with disabilities should be the priority in this category.

Providing access to more affordable metaverse technologies is the top concern for Millennials (39%) and GenX/Boomers (40%).

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