It’s spring and romance is blooming in the metaverse, according to new user data from Reddit. And there are major opportunities for brands of all kinds — from interior design labels to food subscription services — to get in on the action.
Lovers are eager to engage in the metaverse in order to meet new people, per exclusive data from Reddit. And after two-plus years of the pandemic, they’re more ready than ever to get their flirt on — in these burgeoning virtual spaces. In fact, in the last six months, Reddit has seen a 249% increase in mentions of “dating” within VR interest groups.
So, what are the reasons behind this trend? And what does it say about the future of relationships — and the shape of the metaverse moving forward?
1. Cosplay the easy way (passion, Star Wars-style)
With IRL socialization and travel subject to evolving Covid-related restrictions, consumers began turning to virtual reality (VR) and emerging virtual ecosystems to immerse themselves in new experiences. In fact, there’s been a 92% year-over-year lift in sales of VR headsets.
On Reddit, this trend has been especially pronounced — Redditors are 125% more likely than the general public to want to engage in the metaverse and meet new people and are 42% more likely to prefer spending time online rather than in-person. Redditors are twice as likely as the general population to be interested in “joining the metaverse” — and this is reflected in their activity on the social site: screenviews of the subreddit r/VRchat grow 193% between March 2020 and March 2022.
And more than ever, they’re interested in meeting potential romantic partners in virtual spaces. Not only can users meet people who live across the globe, but with new virtual spaces and VR capabilities, users can engage in novel activities and invest more deeply in their interests and passions.
“It's not just that you and I [might be] Star Wars fans; we can literally throw ourselves into a Star Wars universe and… play out that passion in real time in a way that doesn't require me to travel across the world and doesn't require me to buy a bunch of stuff, dress up or cosplay like you might otherwise do,” says Rob Gaige, Reddit’s director of partner insights. “We can do it in a much more casual way. You generate a more honest connection at the level of a passion — versus where in the [face-to-face] dating world, where it's a little bit more superficial.”
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