It's lonely in the Metaverse. (edit Valentina Di Liscia/Hyperallergic)

Several outlets referencing data from DappRadar, a popular crypto-data analysis service, have reported that the metaverse Web3 platform Decentraland had a paltry 38 daily active users. Online, social media is doing what it does best — dragging by any memes necessary. Decentraland isn’t the only metaverse target in the hot seat, either. Meta’s (formerly Facebook) latest announcement for its platform, “Meta Horizon,” has Twitter in a tizzy over its leg-less avatars.

A post from a deleted user from 2021, via Reddit’s /r/decentraland subreddit (all screenshots Rhea Nayyar/Hyperallergic)

To be fair, Decentraland published a blog post trying to set the record straight on visitor participation, indicating that DappRadar doesn’t paint the full picture because it only tracked users’ interactions with smart contracts rather than total visitors. (In Decentraland, daily active users are not only buyers and sellers, but people who log on and exit the “parcel” — a Web3 jargon for a virtual ‘plot’ of land — from which they entered to access others.) According to Decentraland, the average daily active user count hovers at around 8,000. The monthly active user count for September was 56,637, excluding repeat visitors — markedly low considering the fact that Decentraland’s estimated valuation sits at $1 billion.

To put that in perspective, the immersive online platform Second Life, launched in 2003, averages 200,000 daily active users with only half of the estimated valuation of Decentraland.

Twitter user @KetracelBlack reminds us to reject modernity and embrace tradition.

Still, Decentraland users and unaffiliated social media commentators alike have been clowning on the recent exaggerated reports, noting that the metaverse was already a ghost town as early as two years ago. Commenters on the Reddit post note that the platform was severely underpopulated within a year of its 2020 launch.

Users have a field day with Meta’s recent announcement.

Now, let’s give credit where it’s due — Decentraland’s 8,000 users likely equate to 16,000 legs. Wait … Legs? Yup, you read that correctly. While Decentraland was setting the record straight and boasting about its objectively abysmal daily user counts, Meta Horizons just announced that their user’s avatars will soon have legs.

Metaverse critics and regular people have received this new information and, ahem, ran with it.

One Instagram meme in particular acknowledges that the addition of legs provides a unique benefit for the Metaverse:

Via Instagram user @dank.lloyd.wright

Yet again, the Internet proves that regardless of how much your new venture is valued at, there’s always room to be humbled.

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Rhea Nayyar

Rhea Nayyar (she/her) is a New York-based teaching artist who is passionate about elevating minority perspectives within the academic and editorial spheres of the art world. Rhea received her BFA in Visual...