Could the metaverse become a big flop? Here's what Google Trends says

This could be the ebb to a future flow, but it could also signal an end.
Ameya Paleja

Mark Zuckerberg's dream of turning his social media company into building metaverses may meet an abrupt end if he cannot get people excited again about this new term. Data from search result trends shows that interest in metaverse has dropped sharply since the beginning of this year, Cointelegraph reported

In the last quarter of 2021, Zuckerberg brought global attention to the term 'metaverse' when he decided to shift his focus from social media apps to a whole new world where people could not only communicate but also work and play. A major pivot from a tech giant was sufficient to pique the interest of the people and this was visible in search trends of the year. 

A sharp jump in search trends

Metaverse Search Trend-Global
Source: Google Trends

As seen in the image above, more than halfway through 2021, interest in metaverse was fairly low but jumped sharply as Zuckerberg made his announcement. Surprisingly, the interest in metaverse came from outside the U.S., with Turkey leading the charge at the global level, with China and Singapore in tow.

The U.S. interest in the metaverse is ranked number nine in the search trends analyzed by Google, sitting behind the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and only marginally fairing better than Nigeria.

This should be rather worrying for Meta which has not only poured tens of billions into the metaverse in the past two quarters but also opened up its metaverse worlds to customers only in the U.S. and Canada, for now. 

Even as the investment potential of the metaverse continues to rise, the interest of the general public is waning.  

The other half of the story

In the short period of time, since Meta's announcement, the interest in metaverse has dipped considerably.

Metaverse global trends latest
Source: Google Trends

While some would argue that this is the impact of the news cycle, where something else takes people's attention, the dipping trend is not just global but also seen in the U.S., where a lot of businesses have continued to announce plans of entering the metaverse.  

While looking at Google Trends data of the U.S. alone, one finds that interest in the metaverse is at its one-fifth since last year's peak and confirms our previous report which revealed that Americans think that the metaverse is just hype

The steep decline in interest for the metaverse also extends to non-fungible tokens (NFTs) that were all the rage last year. In fact, NFTs overtook cryptocurrencies in global searches last year, Coin Telegraph said in its report, while OpenSea, an NFT marketplace hit its all-time high trading volumes earlier this year. 

Since then, interest in NFTs has also dipped to less than one-third of its peak popularity. 

Metaverse versus NFT comparison
Image credit: Google Trends. Metaverse in blue, NFT in red. 

If metaverse is to become the multi-trillion dollar opportunity that it promises to be, this trend needs to change rapidly. 

Is this why Google is not very aggressive with its metaverse plans? 

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