As hype and opportunism fade, a truly identifiable metaverse community on Twitter is born


7 minutes


This analysis covers 55 million English tweets from 5 million users that mentioned the term ‘metaverse’, posted in the period 1 January 2022 to 5 February 2023.

2022 was billed as the ‘year of the metaverse’. But in the event, it was a mixed year, where meaningful metaverse achievements had to fight against noise and negativity. This was reflected in Twitter conversations, where sentiment, interest and engagement covered the gamut from huge enthusiasm to outright dismissal.

Yet on crunching the numbers for our latest report on Twitter conversations, it appears noise has been replaced by more coherence. While tweets mentioning the metaverse sharply dropped in volume across the year, we’ve seen the formation of an identifiable metaverse community that was not here a year ago.

How will this participate in shaping our thinking about the metaverse? Who is part of this community? Our full survey results are available to download below, but here are four key findings that stand out:

1. The first metaverse hype cycle is over

During the first six months of 2022, tweets mentioning the metaverse dropped by an average of 1,000 per day. By the end of the year, the global loss was 80%. The number of distinct users posting dropped by 77%.

However, what remains is more meaningful. Those talking about the metaverse are genuine enthusiasts. Hype has been replaced by substance. A year ago, our first data study revealed metaverse discussions were led by players related to NFT, crypto or gaming. Today, there’s more coherence and sharing of what the outcome of the metaverse might look like. These actors now share the same core interest, which characterises the majority of their online discussions.

2. People want tangible use cases, not Big Tech

Many peaks of metaverse discussion in 2022 were driven by negativity against Big Tech and influential figures attempting to jump on the bandwagon. But fashion, lifestyle brands, artists and the entertainment industry landed positive sentiments when engaging with the metaverse.

The split stems from use cases people care about. Our data shows people talking about the metaverse on Twitter were quick to mock a years-old Walmart ‘metaverse shopping’ video (533k engagements) and Meta financial losses (163k). However, BLACKPINK’s VMA for best metaverse performance (820k) had the highest engagement numbers of all. Sentiment was also high for Metaverse Fashion Week and Otherside First Trip.

This suggests while the metaverse has its own codes and culture, it remains a mirror image of some strong communities within the real world – and if a metaverse initiative is sincere and embraces passionate fans, it is more likely to win praise and succeed.

3. Opportunists are gone – and experts remain

In 2022, with the hype going on, vocal opportunists joined the metaverse discussion when they could benefit from it. Some famous accounts joined the conversation too, but failed to gain traction and buy-in from followers.

Gradually, existing ‘experts’ – already present, but less vocal – came together as a community and increasingly made themselves known and heard. This core group comprises people that really want to be there, are invested in the metaverse, and can educate others on what success looks like.

Led by Bored Ape Yacht Club (11.7% of defined top users*) and digital experts (8.2%), this community is engaged and insightful. It could tip the balance in favour of the metaverse in 2023 – and lead efforts to educate and inspire the broadest possible audience to embrace new metaverse opportunities and use cases.

4. 2023 is the real ‘year one’ of the metaverse

2022 was noisy and sketchy. The most relevant advances for the metaverse were not necessarily those that were most discussed on Twitter. Negativity drove hype. Different people and organisations wanted very different things from the conversation – and the metaverse itself.

However, from what was once noise has emerged a community. With this comes the creation of a common voice. The community is there for the right reasons.

2023 therefore feels like the real ‘year one’ of the metaverse. There’s a solid foundation on which to build, supported by a true identifiable community interested in the metaverse, building on its beliefs, and engaging with and progressing the debate.

Download the full findings

Improbable Twitter analysis: The metaverse – looking back on 2022 conversations on Twitter

Data collection and analysis methodology
This study was conducted by digital media agency Reputation Squad for Improbable. The general timeline of metaverse mentions and notable events draws from all English tweets (55 million) that include the term ‘metaverse’ posted during 1 January 2022 to 5 February 2023.

The dataset used to draw a high-definition picture of communities that make up the 56,000 top users comprises 706,000 native tweets. All data was collected via the Twitter API and analysed using in-house tools.