There's nothing like technology for producing buzzwords, and the Metaverse and extended reality are certainly two of the buzzwords of the moment. However, many people incorrectly equate these terms as being two different words for the same thing.
I was lucky enough to have the speaking slot after an excellent talk given by Phillip Rauschnabel at the recent 7th International XR Conference in Lisbon. I loved this great article by Phillip and his colleagues pointing out that XR isn't the Metaverse but rather the gateway to it. One of their observations that really resonated with me was that XR is the technology enabler that allows access to the Metaverse in the same way that a web browser (and presumably underlying communications technologies such as TCP/IP) is the technology enabler that allows access to the internet.
XR technologies have the promise of opening up a new frontier in how people interact with machines and as such are applicable to a huge range of possible applications. It is clear that there is a whole lot more to XR technologies than just the Metaverse, and likewise, there is much more to the Metaverse (such as creative design, operating protocols, social aspects, property issues, inter-operability, amongst many others) than XR technologies.
As such, whilst there is a degree of overlap between the Metaverse and XR technology that probably makes for a nice Venn diagram, this is a timely reminder that we should be careful how we use our buzzwords.