The virtual reality (VR) market is expected to explode over the next few years thanks to major new product releases from companies like Meta, Apple, and others.
As VR technology improves and becomes more mainstream, the role of VR influencers will significantly evolve. New players, new platforms, and new technologies could change the face of all that went before.
Currently, YouTube and other social platforms have a vibrant community of VR influencers who focus on, mostly VR gaming, for some creative tools, and other entertainment applications.
These influencers review VR headsets and software, share their experiences within different platforms, and give their thoughts on the future of the industry. Many have built substantial followings amongst the still relatively small global community of VR users.
However, Apple’s impending entry into the consumer VR headset market with Vision Pro raises big questions around the future viability and influence of today’s crop of VR influencers.
Apple has a huge mainstream consumer base and its VR headset is expected to target practical, utility applications rather than just gaming and entertainment.
If Apple successfully ushers VR into the mainstream, will today’s VR gaming and entertainment influencers lose relevance? Or will their niche audiences and expertise in specific platforms protect their influential status?
As VR expands beyond entertainment into areas like workplace collaboration and productivity, CRM, sales training etc, should VR influencers evolve into more general tech influencers if they want to retain broad appeal?
A game of high stakes
The stakes are high, with some analysts predicting the VR influencer space growing into a $4 billion industry by 2025.
We may well see the balance of influence tilt away from specialized VR gaming experts towards big tech generalists who can comment on the VR space as it permeates business and our personal lives over the coming years.
Expect the competitive dynamics in the influencer space to be in flux if consumer utility VR adoption truly accelerates in the near future.
What do you think? Will today’s VR influencers retain their influence in an Apple VR world or will they need to adapt to stay relevant?
I’m curious to hear perspectives around the future of VR influencer marketing as this potential hyper growth vertical expands to our everyday.