It is no secret that Filipinos love social media. Time and time again, reports have shown Filipinos have the highest engagement rate of any country in the world. In fact, according to a recent study by Brussels-based firm Sortlist, the Philippines takes the lead in the time spent online and on social media – over 10 hours and 56 minutes per day.
This is why the metaverse, the biggest phenomenon in virtual shared spaces to date, will likely find a good footing in the country of around 110 million people.
Let’s break this down further:
The population is increasingly connected with each other via social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter, to name a few. This means that Filipinos are more open to hearing about what’s new or novel in the social media space, and are more likely to try it out for themselves. In fact, the Philippines is the top NFT adopter in Southeast Asia, which is already the world’s most active NFT region to boot.
The Philippines has a rapidly widening gap between the rich and poor, especially post-pandemic. In developing countries, it is precisely this gap that breeds innovation, especially when it comes to affordable goods and services for the vast majority of people. It is also this gap that drives Filipinos to be creative in the way they access income, especially when this income isn’t in the form of a traditional job. Axie Infinity, one of the most popular play-to-earn games today, has gained a major following in the Philippines, generating as much as 35% of its total traffic from the country.
Filipinos love VR and AR. Filipinos take many photos with their smartphones in all sorts of places, which means that they will be more inclined to use VR or AR technologies than other populations. Filipinos are always on-the-go and connected with other Filipinos wherever they are, and novel mobile apps that encourage connection will always be welcomed with open arms. VR and AR are also finding creative use cases in the country, from gamified learning to F&B campaigns.
The Philippines has one of the most vibrant and abundant startup ecosystems in the world. The Southeast Asian region has always been a hotspot for tech innovation, and Filipino entrepreneurs are no exception to this, as many of them have already made names for themselves worldwide. Filipinos can now confidently say that they have a unicorn in Mynt, after Revolution Precrafted’s fall from grace. Investors are also taking notice of other startups in the country, such as Kumu, Paymongo, and Kalibrr.
While much can be said about Facebook entering the metaverse or even rebranding itself as Meta, it would be interesting to see how other social media companies, current and emerging, will implement their own metaverse strategies. The good thing is that they can always bring their ideas to the Philippines and Asia, where communities and connectedness are a big thing.
It’s not just about tech-savvy Filipinos, however – it’s also about the Filipino people as a whole. From farmers in rural communities to employees in the corporate world, Filipinos are always looking for new ways to make money – and with how connected they already are, it wouldn’t be far-fetched to imagine them using metaverse technologies with the least hesitation.