Metaverse does not exist yet but 522 mobile apps are already using the buzzword to gain new users and earn more money via various app stores. Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are now the second-most mentioned term in conjunction with metaverse, a new report said on Friday.

Data from market intelligence platform Sensor Tower reveals that Facebook’s rebrand to Meta drove a surge in apps adding “metaverse” to their descriptions or names.

To date, 552 apps include the keyword “metaverse” in their description or titles. Crypto was seen the most in conjunction with metaverse and approximately 23 percent of metaverse apps mentioned the term.

NFTs (non-fungible tokens) became the centre of million-dollar deals, and social media giant Facebook bet big on the metaverse with its Meta rebrand. This excitement has carried over into 2022,- the report said.

Sensor Tower App Intelligence data reveals that globally, 86 apps added references to the metaverse to their title or description on the App Store and Google Play from November 2021 through January 2022.

NFTs was the second-most mentioned term in conjunction with metaverse, while AR and VR accounted for 11 percent and 9 percent, respectively.

Mobile game publishers have shown the most interest in joining the metaverse early, representing 19 percent of apps with the keyword in their title or description.

Microsoft and Take-Two both recently signalled their interest in NFTs and the metaverse as part of the impetus behind their acquisitions of Activision Blizzard and Zynga, respectively, – said the report.

Finance category apps closely follow on the heels of Games as having the second-highest count of apps with the keyword, and the Social category saw the third-most apps referencing “metaverse”.

In the NFT space, some brands have seen success — such as Disney with its partnership with VeVe Collectibles — while others have faced backlash from their audiences.

“It’s looking more and more like navigating public sentiment as well as bleeding-edge applications of new technologies — and adding ametaverse’ to everything — will be key to the success of companies hoping to make their mark in an increasingly meta-minded industry,” the report noted.

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