AUSTIN (KXAN) — If you have social media, you’re probably already doing it.

Have you ever paid attention to how many likes you get on your photos, how your profile picture looks or how many friends you have? If so, you care about your digital image, and the spaces to do that are growing.

That’s where the metaverse comes in, Adam Hollander, an Austin entrepreneur who recently launched an island destination in the metaverse, explained. He says similar to social media at its creation, there is skepticism and confusion about the metaverse right now, but he’s confident it will be widely adopted moving forward and will help people build a digital brand that has become increasingly important.

“It’s going to be your avatar inside of this metaverse where you have millions, maybe someday billions of people that are participating and interacting in a digital landscape,” Hollander said.

So you might be asking: what exactly is the metaverse? Think of it as a digital life. Own a home, buy a dog, invite your friends over, put art on the walls. All of the things you can do in real-life, you can do in the metaverse — it’s just digital.

  • White Sands
  • White Sands
  • White Sands

Your next question is probably “why?”

Hollander says think about your social media now: the digital version of yourself that you use to stay in touch with people who live far away, to reach out to people you would otherwise not be able to connect to and to create an image for yourself to people you may never actually meet in person.

Roughly 15 years ago people were asking similar questions about social media as they are about the metaverse. Why not just call someone, pop over to their house and talk to them?

“There’s a lot of people, I think, that like spending time virtually the same way they like spending time on social media today, because they get to connect with groups of people that are not accessible to them in their real life,” Hollander explained.

Hollander sits in front of his computer
Hollander sits in front of photos of White Sands, a luxury community in the metaverse (KXAN photo/Grace Reader)

That’s why Hollander says the investments made inside the metaverse now are going to be valuable later. Take NFTs for example (non-fungible tokens), which Hollander explained as something that “represents infallible proof of ownership of a digital asset.”

“There’s going to be very early adopters, folks that are paying attention to this right now. And there will be people that come into this years later, because they almost feel pressured to because there’s a lot going on, and they feel like they’re missing out. But this is going to happen,” he said.

Hollander last month launched what he and his partner are calling White Sands, a tropical island inside the metaverse where people can design and buy luxury homes using any device that can run Minecraft. That space will open up to the public in the next few weeks as a way people can interact with each other and participate in events like golf, stand-up comedy and hot air ballooning.

You can check out White Sands in the below video.

“People are going to be able to come into this world, feel like they own a virtual piece of it, and then customize it, whether it be through you know, their avatar, furniture, collections, pets, vehicles, and more,” Hollander said.