A hot potato: Even before the rise of AI, interest in the metaverse was waning – not that there was much to begin with. ChatGPT and similar programs have really pushed it into the background, but according to a new study, the metaverse could contribute around $760 billion, or 2.4%, of the US annual gross domestic product (GDP) by 2035. Who commissioned this study? Meta.

Mark Zuckerberg's unwavering faith that an immersive AR/VR metaverse will one day be as popular as smartphones resulted in Facebook changing its corporate name to Meta in 2021.

But things aren't going too well for Meta's metaverse ambitions. One only has to look at Reality Labs, the division responsible for metaverse-related tech (among other things). It has lost a massive $30 billion since 2020.

Zuckerberg hasn't been put off, though. The CEO has long claimed that all the money poured into metaverse projects will ultimately pay off. He believes the industry will be worth billions or even trillions of dollars in a decade, replacing mobile as most people's platform of choice.

A report by consulting firm Deloitte (via Reuters) commissioned by Meta seems to back up Zuckerberg's beliefs, claiming that the metaverse could contribute as much as $760 billion to US GDP by 2035.

It's good news for Canada, too. Deloitte said the metaverse could contribute between C$45.3 billion ($33.88 billion) and C$85.5 billion to the country's annual GDP by 2035.

Meta said in a separate report that the European Union could also benefit from the metaverse, which could contribute up to 489 billion euros ($538.29 billion) in annual GDP by 2035 or about 1.3% – 2.4% of its total GDP.

A meta-commissioned global economic impact report from consulting firm Analysis Group last year was even closer to Zuckerberg's predictions. The report estimated that metaverse adoption would contribute $3.01 trillion by 2031.

Meta and Zuckerberg have talked less and less about the metaverse recently, opting instead to follow every other company and focus on implementing generative AI into its services. But it recently reminded people that the metaverse would probably be awesome one day, even though companies like Disney are abandoning their metaverse plans.