Ready or not, metaverse is coming — SARTiNE exec

There’s no advertising market that’s as digital and as targeted by commercial brands and political movers alike as the Philippines, Renesar Deunida, chief executive officer of SARTiNE IT Solutions, declared Friday during Gising Na!, Daily Tribune’s digital show simulcast on RJTV.

“The difference between Singapore and the Philippines is that Singapore is more a tech hub for investors while our country is the market for anything and everything digital,” Deunida, who worked 15 years for the United Nations in its Vienna office, told editors and show hosts Francine Marquez, Komfie Manalo and Elmer Navarro Manuel.

“Eighty-two percent of Filipinos are digital world inhabitants and are voracious consumers of social media content. That’s why if you look at Facebook and Google ad placements, you’ll see the big revenues being generated by them off us as a very important, if not their most important, market,” he explained.

Deunida pointed out that in politics alone, hundreds of millions of pesos were paid by ad agencies (in the last election) just to advertise on FB as it has about 81 million active users in the Philippines, 91 million counting those who use the platform sparingly.

Social media, in fact, powered the last two Philippine presidents (Rodrigo Duterte and Bongbong Marcos) to resounding poll victories in 2016 and 2022, the 45-year-old father of two pointed out.


However, the SARTiNE executive said that the digital landscape is once again facing cataclysmic changes with the metaverse that may result in, among other things, the World Wide Web or the Internet domain prefix WWW getting supplanted by Web3.

Metaverse is a virtual-reality space in which users can interact with a computer-generated environment and other users, while Web3 is a “new iteration” of a decentralized WWW incorporating blockchain technologies.

Web3 is seen empowering users away from the influence of large technology companies like Google and Facebook, providing increased data security, scalability and data privacy.

This week, FB announced its latest cost-cutting measures as it tries to stem spiraling out of control with its founder Mark Zuckerberg shedding almost $30 billion of his personal worth this year despite rebranding to Meta.

In a follow-up interview by this writer after the show, Deunida warned that the presently dominant social platforms may soon join the tech world’s dustbin of companies that skyrocketed to profitability only to plummet as burnt-out carcasses of the stars that they were.

“We need to be like the Phoenix, rising from the ashes of the old and embracing the new to fly even higher,” Deunida said. “Only question today is are we taking advantage of the game-changing metaverse world dawning on us.”

Going digital

He said companies must fully embrace digital as the ad companies are presently doing to leverage new technologies to keep and add up to their clients’ or customers’ bases.

“In fact, 10 to 15 years ago, the big brands only allocated five percent of their ad budgets to social media and digital. But they’ve realized now that they need to up this to 30 or 40 percent with placements to papers like Daily Tribune, for example,” he said.

Deunida has noted Tribune’s tact and tract of holding on to traditional print while investing heavily on digital shows, online news propagation and social media.

With Michael Pingol and Cheriel Lazo
(To be continued)

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