Is the metaverse the next big thing? Here’s why ASX investors think so

Investors are betting that the metaverse will be the next leap forward…

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a group of five people lie on the floor with their heads touching, each wearing hi tech goggles over their eyes as if in a metaverse workplace collaboration.

Image source: Getty Images

The ‘metaverse’ would have certainly earned its place on a list of ‘top investing buzzwords of 2021’. Assisted perhaps by the dramatic name change of what used to be known as Facebook Inc into Meta Platforms Inc (NASDAQ: FB), the metaverse is a concept that has now arguably taken root in the collective investing consciousness.

Facebook is so meta right now…

Meta founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg probably deserves much of the credit. Back in October last year when ‘Zuck’ first announced the company’s rebranding, he called the metaverse “the beginning of the next chapter for the internet”. Here’s some more of what Zuckerberg had to say on the metaverse and his company’s place within it at the time:

The defining quality of the metaverse will be a feeling of presence — like you are right there with another person or in another place. Feeling truly present with another person is the ultimate dream of social technology. That is why we are focused on building this.

In the metaverse, you’ll be able to do almost anything you can imagine — get together with friends and family, work, learn, play, shop, create… As well as completely new experiences that don’t really fit how we think about computers or phones today.

Our role in this journey is to accelerate the development of the fundamental technologies, social platforms and creative tools to bring the metaverse to life, and to weave these technologies through our social media apps. 

So that all sounds pretty rosy. But many forward-looking investors are not waiting to experience the metaverse. They are looking to invest in it at an early stage as well.

As you might expect, the ASX is not home to too many metaverse companies. At least not yet. But new data from brokerage platform eToro shows exactly how keen ASX investors are to carve themselves a slice of the meta-pie. 

ASX investors can’t get enough of the metaverse

eToro’s share trading data for the fourth quarter of 2021 shows a significant increase in investor interest in Meta, which aligns quite conveniently with its October meta-centric rebranding. No, Meta Platforms did not usurp the perennial investor favourites of Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) or Nio Inc (NYSE: NIO). But eToro’s data does show that Meta Platforms jumped from thirteenth place in the previous quarter to sixth place for the last quarter for Aussie investors. 

eToro global markets strategist Ben Laidler cited Meta’s repositioning as the main factor here:

The firm has ditched the Facebook moniker and hitched its wagon to the fledgling metaverse sector, which is starting to cause real excitement among many investors.

The metaverse is a huge growth opportunity and the fact that Meta has thrown its brand and resources behind it will be a big catalyst for its development. And while it is not the only company exploring this area, it will no doubt be one of the major players.

So it looks as though ASX investors can’t get enough of the metaverse and, by extension, Meta Platforms shares. It will be interesting to see how this trend continues to grow in 2022 and beyond.

Should you invest $1,000 in Meta Platforms right now?

Before you consider Meta Platforms, you'll want to hear this.

Motley Fool Investing expert Scott Phillips just revealed what he believes are the 5 best stocks for investors to buy right now... and Meta Platforms wasn't one of them.

The online investing service he’s run for over a decade, Motley Fool Share Advisor, has provided thousands of paying members with stock picks that have doubled, tripled or even more.* And right now, Scott thinks there are 5 stocks that are better buys.

*Returns as of January 13th 2022

Randi Zuckerberg, a former director of market development and spokeswoman for Facebook and sister to Meta Platforms CEO Mark Zuckerberg, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Motley Fool contributor Sebastian Bowen owns Meta Platforms, Inc. and Tesla. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns and has recommended Meta Platforms, Inc. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Meta Platforms, Inc. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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