Yahoo unveils its insights on how Gen Z and Millennials view the metaverse


They study found 66% of APAC and 59% of Australian Millennials and Gen Z looking forward to the metaverse

Yahoo has unveiled data from its new survey uncovering crucial insights on what consumers in Australia want from the metaverse.

The consumer study by Yahoo on the metaverse covered 15,000 respondents across Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore. 

It found 73% of APAC consumers are aware of the metaverse, which has entered the mainstream consciousness in the region. Within Australia, 59% of consumers are familiar with the metaverse, and 46% have expressed an interest in it. 

Digital natives lead the way, with 66% of APAC and 59% of Australian Millennials and Gen Z looking forward to the metaverse — together they make up the “Metaverse Generation.” 

However, as a key finding of the Yahoo survey shows, these user groups diverge in how they imagine the metaverse and what they expect from it, with surprising differences in how they view virtual social communities, avatars, immersive entertainment and creative freedom.

Many of the Metaverse Generation within the ANZ market have already experienced the metaverse in virtual gaming environments. Two thirds of Australian Gen Z and three quarters of New Zealand have played Minecraft, Roblox, Fortnite, or other open-world games in the past month, a ratio that is much higher than other markets. 

Zoe Cocker, director of innovation and creative studio at Yahoo, said: “While the metaverse as envisioned by so many doesn’t exist yet, this large-scale study gives us a unique insight into how it is being shaped and the drivers for its growth across Australia and New Zealand.”
“There has been a lot of hype about the potential of the metaverse, but very little is known about what consumers expect. This study shows there are a variety of factors moving people to these online spaces, and the pace with which people from different generations are adopting and adapting this technology,” she said.
“Understanding what consumers want from the metaverse will give brands who build with these desires in mind a huge advantage,” Cocker added.
Additional findings from Yahoo on the ANZ market include:
Influenced by gaming; social community, highly entertaining and lifelike interaction experiences are essential elements for metaverse generation in ANZ.
2. Nearly 26% of the ANZ metaverse generation have looked into NFTs, with 9% buying one.  Artwork is the type of NFT they pay most attention to.
3. The New Zealand metaverse generation is highly enthusiastic about game item NFTs while the Australia metaverse generation pays more attention to limited-edition cards.
5 key findings from the report offers vital cues to APAC marketers:
#1: Gen Z and Millennials want distinctly different things from the metaverse
Marketers will need to tailor their approaches for differences in the Metaverse Generation.
Gen Z is looking forward to building social connections in the metaverse, the chance to break the rules, become rich and make their personal dreams come true. Equity and diversity is important for this group, which believes that everyone owns equal opportunities in the metaverse.
Cues for marketers
what matters to Gen Z:
1: Virtual Communities: They want to build social circles different from their existing one in the real world
2: Digital Avatars: They value the chance to show their uniqueness and meet new friends through their avatar 
3: Gen Z wants “full customisation,” with the ability to create and freedom to build spaces, characters and items
For Millenials,
the metaverse is about enhancing and upgrading experiences — a space to innovate, create life-like interactions and experiences, diversify and enrich human connection.
Cues for marketers
 what matters to Millennials:
1: They want immersive experiences, with lifelike interactions for entertainment 
2: Digital avatars are a way for them to facilitate these interactive experiences
3: Millennials are open to transactions and economic activities in the virtual world

A hobby in the Metaverse? Millennials and Gen Z have different approaches 

The study shows Millennials would take a hobby they enjoy in real life and enhance their experience in the metaverse. Take motorbike racing, for example. A millennial who loves motorbikes in the real world will collect virtual bikes in the metaverse, inviting other biker friends on a virtual road trip. A Gen Z user, meanwhile, may not follow motorbike racing in the real world, but would go all out virtually creating a “dream character”, building the identity and reputation of a racer, even an income, entirely in the metaverse!.

#2: Different realities for digital avatars
Gen Z and Millennials think differently about digital avatars. Gen Z creates digital avatars with their “true appearances,” expressing their uniqueness through styling hair, makeup, apparel and accessories. Millennials however, prefer avatars “totally different from their current appearance,” preferring large-scale embellishing and enhancements.
More than any other market in APAC, Australia and New Zealand Gen Zers want to create digital avatars with their “true appearances”, expressing their diverse selves through creative, personalised makeup, styling hair, apparel and accessories.
Cues for marketers:
For Gen Z, free creation is important. The study shows “customisation” is the most important factor for more than 90% of Gen Z, when creating their avatar. For Millennials, their avatars include wearing or using real-world branded apparel or accessories, or are enhanced with skills they lack in real life.
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#3: The appeal of digital assets

Yahoo’s report shows one-third of Millennials and Gen Z in APAC have embraced virtual collectables — 26% of the metaverse generation in Australia have already studied NFTs, and 9% have purchased NFTs. 

Cues for marketers: Artworks, profile pictures, gaming goods, limited-edition cards, videos, and music pieces are types of NFTs the Metaverse Generation pays attention to. Owning NFTs is more than an investment; it can allow a person to become a member of a group or give them access to a certain community. 

Consumers in Hong Kong and Singapore are most drawn to NFTs, compared to other APAC countries — half of the metaverse generation in Hong Kong has researched NFTs, and 14% have made NFT purchases.

#4: Brands in the metaverse

The report found APAC consumers are very receptive to brands applying the metaverse to marketing or advertising campaigns — nearly 60% of the metaverse generation said they would like to know more about a brand venturing into the metaverse and pay more attention to its events or products.

Cues for marketers: Yahoo research shows that the earlier a brand reaches consumers in the metaverse, the easier it will be to gain opportunities and become attractive to them.
#5 Needed: A safer metaverse
Just like in the real world, safety and data security remain a top concern for consumers in the metaverse — 62% of APAC consumers said they worried about “fraud” and “the inability to distinguish truth from falsehood”. Privacy and safety were also a top concern, with 61% saying it would be harder to protect privacy and personal information in the metaverse. The “absence of moral and legal norms” was also a concern for 57% of respondents.
Cues for marketers:
Given the anonymity, lax regulations and lack of accountability in the metaverse, ensuring transparency and prioritising user protection will be key to addressing consumers’ concerns.
The report ties together these findings with analysis and views from experts in the region, to create a comprehensive picture for marketers.

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