Will the Metaverse Replace the Internet?

Years ago the metaverse only existed in sci-fi movies and novels, now, the metaverse is in development and is well on its way to revolutionizing the internet. With that, you might be wondering if the metaverse will completely replace the internet? Here is what I’ve found out.

The metaverse will not replace the internet because it is required for the metaverse to function. Rather, the metaverse serves as an extension of the internet and it is built on top of Web3 which utilizes blockchain technology.

Although the metaverse is still in its’ infancy, we already know that the metaverse can’t exist without the internet. However, that doesn’t mean that the metaverse won’t have a significant impact on internet users.

Will the metaverse replace the internet?

There is no doubt that the metaverse is both very exciting and potentially scary to think about, especially considering how many people use the internet on a daily basis. However, you don’t have to worry as the metaverse won’t replace the internet, rather, it is an extension of the internet.

Will metaverse replace internet? It won't, it is an extension of the internet.

Technically, the metaverse is built on top of blockchain technology, which is built on top of the internet. That means without the internet, we wouldn’t have the blockchain, and without the blockchain, it would be difficult to build a strong metaverse economy because the blockchain allows us to prove ownership of digital assets, among other things.

Overall, I feel confident saying that the metaverse will never replace the internet, just like social media has never completely replaced the internet, despite its’ mass adoption. With that being said, the metaverse does have great potential to completely revolutionize the way we use the internet, however.

How will the metaverse impact the internet?

The metaverse will revolutionize the internet by implementing Artificial Intelligence (AI), Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and Extended Reality (XR). As a result, this technology will affect our economy and our daily lives across all industries. Most notably, the metaverse will change the way we interact with each other and consume products and information.

To fully comprehend how the metaverse is going to revolutionize the internet, we need to look at how the internet has progressed to its’ current stage.

Web 1.0

Will the metaverse replace the internet? It won't, but to understand we have to look at Web 1.0.

Web 1.0 also referred to as the Syntactic web was the first stage of the internet. Web 1.0 was limited to reading information that was created by content producers. There were no options for consumers to provide feedback or interact other than consuming the provided content. Examples of Web 1.0 include static pages and personal websites.

Web 2.0

Web 2.0 is what we mainly use today. Also known as Social Web and read-write web, this stage of the internet enables interactions between internet users and platforms; allowing us all to communicate with each other.

Will the metaverse replace the internet? It won't, but to understand we have to look at Web 1.0.

Of course, Web 2.0 resulted in the rise of content producers and content that is shared between different internet platforms. This advancement in internet technology provided a huge opportunity for personal brands and large businesses to thrive like never before because their reach and ability to interact with others greatly improved.

The creation of these social platforms was the result of technological advancements like HTML5, CSS3, and Javascript, which enabled startups and businesses to innovate, and created several opportunities in society, not just for the people who built the platforms. Some popular examples of Web 2.0 include Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram.

Web 3.0

Now, enter Web 3.0, also known as Web3 or Semantic Web. This is the next phase of the internet that we are currently exploring. This era of the internet enables computers to interpret information similar to humans through the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML).

Will the metaverse replace the internet? It won't, but to understand we have to look at Web 3.0.

The use of AI and ML helps to distribute content in a way that is tailored to a user’s specific interests, resulting in a more personalized and better experience on the internet. With Web3 comes entirely new platforms and technology such as blockchain, NFTs, smart contracts, and of course the metaverse to name a few.

Now that you know how far the internet has come, I hope this helps you understand how the metaverse won’t replace the internet, but will only enhance users’ experiences. Similar to how Facebook and Youtube have revolutionized the internet and how humans can utilize it, the metaverse will do the same.

The future of the metaverse

I believe that the metaverse and NFT technology will be the greatest advancement in the internet to date. I don’t say that lightly. 

We all understand how huge social media has affected the world. Now, imagine social media but in a completely immersive virtual world, filled with interactive avatars and digital assets that users can buy, sell, own, and even create.

The future of the metaverse explained

Rather than seeing words and videos on a screen, we will be face-to-face with digital versions of people, products, and events. Instead of a social media profile, we will utilize an avatar that has all of our information and our entire online reputation stored within our avatar.

That means we can explore different platforms and still maintain our reputation wherever we go. Although this might scare you, it is the future. Web3 is largely built around transparency online, so just like real life, your reputation will follow you regardless of which platform you visit in the metaverse.

In addition to some of the basic concepts, the metaverse is going to completely revolutionize every sector of our economy. Retail, entertainment, manufacturing, medicine, education, content creation, telecommunication, and even travel will all be greatly affected by the metaverse.

For example, Instead of picking out what clothes we want to buy by looking at an image, we will be able to try the clothes on in a virtual environment using our avatar. Plus, not only will you receive the physical product, but you will also get an NFT that is a digital representation of the physical product you own. 

Will the metaverse replace the internet?

Not only does the NFT act as proof of your purchase, but it will hold value in itself within the metaverse, which can then be traded on NFT marketplaces for real money. Some brands like Nike have already started exploring this concept. Nike’s introduction of Nikeland is a virtual store built in the Roblox game that allows you to buy virtual merchandise created by Nike, to wear on your avatar character.

Many people think this is crazy, I think it is genius. The reason why someone would want to represent Nike merch on their virtual avatar is the same reason people desire a verified checkmark on social media; it’s a flex.

In addition to all this, the metaverse will change our daily lives in a number of ways.

Will the metaverse improve the internet?

The metaverse will simply enhance the internet user experience, but it won’t technically improve the internet. Because the metaverse is built on top of the internet, it acts as an added perk more than an overall improvement to internet functionality.

That’s not to say that the metaverse won’t drastically improve an internet users’ experience though. Before the introduction of social media, the internet was very basic, and although exciting, it still lacked the ability to satisfy many of its users’ desire to connect with others and share their insights. Once Web 2.0 was fully developed, it changed the entire game of the internet, for the better. 

Since Web 2.0’s initial release, many people have been able to make a good living by utilizing various online platforms, and even use it to expand the reach of their already existing platforms in the real world. The metaverse will do the same thing, but likely to an even greater degree than social media has.

The better that we can interact with others around the world in a true and transparent way, the more likely we are to use whatever it is that allows us to do so, and that will soon be the metaverse. How soon? I can’t say. But, if I had to guess we will see huge development within the next 5 to 10 years, and likely even sooner.

However, the amount of time that it takes the world to realize what is going on and the great potential that the metaverse offers to internet users might take longer, and that’s okay. But you can’t disregard the fact that the internet is always evolving and will continue to evolve until the end of time, and the metaverse will be a significant part of this ongoing evolution.

Key takeaways

When it comes to the advancement of the internet and the emerging technology that surrounds it, it can be a lot to wrap your mind around. Your continued curiosity, however, will see you through. Here are some key takeaways to remember when pondering on the metaverse.

  • The metaverse will not replace the internet, it is an extension of it.
  • The metaverse will affect how you use the internet, similar to how social media has changed how the world uses the internet.
  • The metaverse will affect every industry, including retail, entertainment, manufacturing, medicine, education, content creation, telecommunication, and even travel.
  • In the metaverse, your avatar acts similar to your social media profile, as a result, your reputation will follow your avatar wherever it goes in the metaverse.
  • The metaverse does not improve internet functionality, but it will greatly improve the user experience.
About Alex Gomez

Alex is a professional writer based in the U.S. focused on the blockchain industry. With years of experience, he contributes to some of the most recognized publications such as Yahoo, ONE37pm, and others. He previously worked for Gary Vaynerchuk as his NFT editor before going all-in on Cyber Scrilla.