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Who Holds the Keys to our Web3 Future? Young Gen Z will decide


Bennie Reed and Jared Ohgren, Head of Connections Strategy and Associate Director, Connections Strategy

Strategy|2 min read

Who Holds the Keys to our Web3 Future? Young Gen Z will decide

No one needed another hype piece on the metaverse, so we’re here to bring you the reality and where we are today. 


The next era of the internet is likely one of the most talked about, disputed, and most hyped topics we’ve had in recent years. Paramount in this discussion is the question of “What will move us from today’s Web2 norms, to a future state in a Web3 world?” and the answer is multifaceted, complex, and quite frankly unknown.


What we do know is that the metaverse won’t only be decided by the tech giants of today such as Meta, Microsoft, and Google. In fact, the Metaverse is plural. We’ll see multiple, even dozens, of virtual universes reach critical mass in coming years and some will be more “Web3” than others. Even more importantly, the adoption and daily usage to scale won’t be controlled or decided by today’s platforms.  



Young Gen Z is King in a Web3 World


Young Gen Z, the younger half of the world’s largest generation, will decide where this idea of a so-called parallel online universe goes. Let’s break down why.

This is a collective group who currently have dreams and career goals that are more related to streaming, digital creation, and gaming over traditional career paths. They’ve spent more of their time on Fortnite, YouTube, Twitch, and Tik Tok than any other previous group. But these platforms didn’t reach critical mass because of this group alone, it was their older brothers, sisters, and even parents who originally gave them scale.


With this in mind, what platforms will Young Gen Z adopt in coming years, or rather build for themselves, to pave the way for future generations?


Social and Gaming Collide to Create New Experiences

For the existing organizations, startups, and brands that are looking ahead, building a community in the next era of the internet will certainly be different, but will ultimately come back to relevance and attention. Not the type of short-form novelty we’ve been seeing in headlines, but real engagement and time spent day in and day out.


These two ideas, relevance and attention, are a huge differentiator in the Web2 world we’ve been living in. Thus the reality is that if you haven’t had much luck building a community in Web2 you may have a glaring problem ahead of you. 


However, there is a silver lining: We can learn from our past. Let’s focus on two thriving Web2 communities rooted in gaming and social that we all know very well.


When the strengths of a social platform like TikTok can meet the gamification power of Fortnite is when next era of communities will emerge. Whatever platforms can construct the interpersonal connections of a social platform paired with an in-depth gaming experience will win. The tipping point that will separate those that win or lose will come down to daily time spent paired with strong network effects to fend off opposing “metaverse” experiences.


So, our next question is, what will really make a future-state virtual community tick?


The Rise of the Web3 Maker 


Virtualization now allows us to partake in amazing experiences that are only possible in a digital environment. Who’s to say that these unforgettable experiences aren’t as valuable, or even more valuable, than the physical experiences we’re used to today?


Virtualization and everything that comes with it may be the key difference for this new generation that many won’t understand. It’s more than just the act of creating digital experiences and products. These new worlds will affect career paths, what talented artists can create, where you can work, what you can build, and how you can express yourself on a global scale with no physical limitations.  


Soon they will have enough collective spending power to rapidly shift the current landscape and this is when they will begin to build their chapter of the connected web. This is when we’ll truly see a fully formed Web3 emerge, created and designed by Young Gen Z and soon their younger Gen Alpha brothers and sisters. Thus a new form of the current day influencer will emerge. A creator and curator of experiences spanning content, commerce, and community all built on innovative technologies, strategies, and mechanics. This is when the theory of all-new decentralized Web3 economies will actually begin to form. 


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