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It’s not just a game. It’s not just an escape. This is real commerce | ticker VIEWS

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Vans’ collaboration with Roblox highlights the endless commercial possibilities of the metaverse

The Virtual experience inside the video game creation platform Roblox will allow people to create a custom avatar and visit a Vans store, where they can purchase virtual items.

Players will be able to purchase virtual items with in game currency – Roblox – and skate around in virtual recreations of famous skate parks.

The move is an example of commercial businesses exploring the metaverse, which combines virtual and augmented reality.

Mat Cole, from ACT Capital Partners, told Ticker News the experience was another step towards commerce embracing the metaverse.

“The metaverse is essentially a convergence between your physical world and the digital world where you can actually sort of simultaneously in real time connect with people through avatars or shared experiences.” he said.

Cole believes the experience will allow Vans the ability to reach a new audience, through giving people the ability to engage with the brand through the metaverse.

“It allows people to build a really emotional attachment to the Vans brand inside the inside the metaverse.”

According to Cole the metaverse can create an inclusive experience for customers to engage with the world’s biggest brands.

“If I speak French, Italian, German Mandarin, I can log on in my own portal and have a metaverse experience and talk to someone inside the Nike flagship store in my own language and purchase something that is then sent to my house,” Cole said.

“So we know we’ve got this frictionless E-commerce now, where things are delivered in 24 hours, 48 hours.”

Cole does however highlight the potential ethical issues in marketing through a platform geared towards children in Roblox.

“The challenge with Roblox is because it’s got a younger audience. How do you how do you monetize it?” he said.

“It’s an ethical issue of how you start monetizing and getting kids to pay for consumers and consumer goods.”

The metaverse term was first coined by writer Neal Stephenson in his 1993 sci-fi novel Snow Crash. In the book, the metaverse was the successor to the internet, and was used as an escape by people from the dystopian earth.

People in the metaverse would express their status through the appearance of their digital avatars. In recent years payable skins have become common in video games.

Non Fungible Tokens (NFT) have allowed people to have ownership of digital assets in recent times, and can contribute to the E-commerce that is beginning to boom within the digital world.



Tech

Virgin Media outage leaves UK viewers in the dark

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A major outage has left Virgin Media customers across the UK unable to use their television services

Virgin Media has confirmed a mass outage has left UK viewers unable to watch their television services, following a nationwide error.

The company confirmed the outage lasted around ten hours, which was understood to be triggered by a network power failure.

The issue began at about 10:30 GMT prompting thousands of viewers to report problems.

The firm told customers its engineers were trying to fix the problem, which hit cities across the UK, including London, Birmingham and Manchester.

Virgin issues apology for outage

Virgin Media apologised, and said it would fix it “as soon as possible”.

The issue had been caused by “a major power outage”, the firm said.

The website Downdetector which tracks outages received more than 18,000 reports of problems at one point.

Many users tweeted their annoyance at the loss of service, and the way in which Virgin Media communicated: “Can you update please? No TV. Your status page down. No info on phone lines,” wrote one customer.

The company said it had identified the fault and its engineers were working “flat-out” to fix the issue.

At 13:45 GMT Virgin Media stated: “We have now restored several channels with customers able to watch BBC One, BBC Two, ITV, ITV+1 and Channel 4. TV360 customers are also able to access apps on their box,” the firm wrote.

Customers however have taken to social media, slamming the company for the duration of the error – calling for refunds.

Virgin Media responded to those requests, advising customers to fill out an online compensation form.

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Tech

Meta to launch Uber ride-booking via WhatsApp in India

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One of the world’s biggest ride sharing services is partnering up with it the parent company of Facebook to change the way we book our journey

Ride-sharing giant Uber wants to make booking a ride in India as easy as sending a message via WhatsApp.

The US-based company has partnered up with Meta, the recently rebranded parent company of Facebook, to launch a ride booking feature in its WhatsApp service within India.

The integration is set to become the first of its kind for the ride-hailing giant and will allow people to book an Uber ride without having to download the official Uber app.

Everything from user registration and ride-booking to getting a trip receipt will be managed within the WhatsApp chat interface.

The service is being rolled out first in the northern city of Lucknow, and will be expanded to other Indian cities soon according an official statement.

“We want to make it as easy as possible for all Indians to take an Uber trip, and to do that we need to meet them on platforms they are comfortable with,”

said Nandini Maheshwari, senior director of business development for Uber APAC, in the statement.

India is the biggest market for WhatsApp with nearly half a billion users.

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Crypto

Is Twitter Changing its Name?

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Just days after Jack Dorsey resigned for the second time as CEO of Twitter, his other company, Square, is getting a name change

The parent company of Cash App and Tidal will now go under the new corporate name of “Block”.

Other individual businesses owned by Block, referred to by the company as “building blocks”, will keep their original names except for the company’s Square Crypto initiative.

Square Crypto, whilst keeping it’s ticker name of SQ on the stock exchange, will be renamed as Spiral.

These name changes follow Dorsey’s well known interest in cryptocurrency, with the business having $220 million in bitcoin in its treasury according to the Wall Street Journal.

This contributes to Dorsey, who Forbes estimates to be worth $10.8 billion, as being one of the most influential cryptocurrency advocates worldwide.

Square’s name change comes just over a month after Mark Zuckerberg rebranded Facebook group to Meta.

Square’s business involves payment systems such as banking products for retailers as well as those small square card readers you see at some vendors.

The company’s name change is therefore is simply the introduction of a new corporate name to “tie” the company’s building blocks together.

There will be no organisational change as a result of the name change which is expected to go legally into effect around December 10th..

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