Have you been seeing less NFT chatter around the internet lately? Hearing a bit less about the metaverse? Well, you’re not alone.
Despite an initial surge in usage of the buzzwords, interest in both concepts appears to be sharply declining, at least according to Google search trendswhich have been seeing deep downward turns for both terms.
In the gaming space, where I operate, almost every major publisher seems to have been scared straight on NFTs after being lambasted by fans every time they are brought up, and those have become relegated mainly to purely blockchain based games outside the rest of the industry . As for the metaverse, the term has been repeated so much and so often it’s become almost meaningless, these days most often cited regarding blockchain-based shared worlds that have concurrent player averages outside the top 200-300 games on Steam at any given time.
From the chart, you can see that interest in the metaverse as a term hit its peak when Facebook changed its name to Meta and started evangelizing about the digital future. But since then, the term has seen a decline in relevance as Facebook has not presented a coherent vision for the concept, nor have any of its blockchain-based competitors. Video games, many of which are already metaverse-adjacent, don’t really seem to care to call themselves that at all, even if games like Fortnite and Roblox are further down this road than anyone.
NFTs, meanwhile, peaked somewhere around the end of January, and have only dropped since. This should ward off the idea that the global breaking news of Russia invading Ukraine caused this drop in interest for this term and perhaps many others, as we can see this was already beginning to slide a month before the invasion even happened. It has been a smooth decline ever since, and shows no sign of slowing.
The same is not true for the entire space. Terms like crypto, blockchain, Ethereum and Bitcon may have had a huge surge back in the spring of last year, but now they’re relatively stable. Slight declines in a few, perhaps, but not the same level as what we’re seeing here with the metaverse and NFTs. “Web3” is on an arc more similar to NFTs, however.
The blockchain and all it spawns may not be going anywhere, but all the predictions about NFTs being the inevitable future and the metaverse being the birth of web 2.0 feel…overblown, to say the least. I would not be surprised to see these concepts return later with new names to feel more fresh, but for the time being, interest in both are clearly waning, and I do wonder what happens to the millions of NFTs being held when the speculative market is no longer functioning as it once did at its peak. If we stay on this current path, we’re about to find out.