The Product Pro Demystifying the Metaverse
Annie Zhang, senior product manager at Roblox and founder of the Hello Metaverse podcast, is fascinated by “major cultural shifts,” and how they can potentially impact the way people live their lives. She uses her work to champion greater online freedom, to explore the future of the Metaverse, and to examine how the shift to Web3 will address issues of ownership, control and privacy. “Gen Z is getting older and there are new needs that aren’t being served,” she said in a recent television interview. “Social media has been toxic for them because it’s so public-facing. They care more about an experience that is private and more community-driven.” Annie grew up in Canada and went to a performing arts high school where she played flute seriously. She is passionate about how music and the performing arts can one day take place in the Metaverse, where people can collaborate freely with whomever they want.
Annie Zhang’s work as senior product manager at Roblox allows her to continuously find ways for users to socialize and interact more naturally in a virtual setting. Her work leading the Music and Events products has provided a front row seat to seeing novel virtual experiences come to life. In 2022, Annie led the Alo Yoga Sanctuary for the LA-based yoga lifestyle brand, where a player’s avatar could wear Alo gear and meditate, relax or take a yoga class inside the experience. Spotify Island, which launched in May of 2022 created a world for players to interact and explore, like at virtual beat-maker stations. This past spring, she spearheaded Fashion Klossette, a partnership with model and entrepreneur Karlie Kloss that invited users to work their way up in the fashion world.