What happened to the Mark Zuckerberg Metaverse also known as Horizon Worlds?
From Facebook to Meta
On October 28, 2021, Facebook announced that it would change the name of its parent company to Meta to reflect the firm’s shift in focus to the Metaverse, a virtual world in which people can engage in a variety of ways.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg noted in a presentation sponsored by the then-known “Facebook” that the new name signifies the company’s desire to create a connected virtual world that extends beyond the boundaries of the real world.
“It is time for us to adopt a new company brand to encompass everything that we do, To reflect who we are and what we hope to build.
I am proud to announce that starting today our company is now Meta. Our mission remains the same, still about bringing people together, our apps and their brands, they’re not changing either and we are still the company that designs technology around people.
Now we have a North Star to help bring the metaverse to life and we have a new name that reflects the full breadth of what we do and the future that we want to help build.”
All of Facebook’s products and services, including the Facebook app, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Oculus, will continue to be operated by Meta.
The rebranding also includes a new corporate logo with a stylized infinity symbol to emphasize the company’s aim of connecting people and experiences across time and space.
See also: Top 5 Metaverse Entertainment Platforms
Criticism and Challenges
Since its inception into the public, people have hated the idea of a metaverse because it was just simply not needed.
On December 9th, 2021, Meta, now known as Facebook had just opened horizon worlds to the US and Canada and people over the age of 18 could strap on their Oculus Quest VR Headsets and get lost in a magical virtual world.
They could create their own avatars and use their imagination to build communities and class/chat rooms where they would play around, fly and use special perks on their avatars to visit an arcade restaurant to have a virtual smoothie or two.
Horizon World was the first real example of what the metaverse actually meant to look like. In February 2022, Horizon Worlds had already attracted over 300,000 users which counts as a 10 times increase in 3 months.
Over the next 8 years, it reduced to 200,000 active monthly users in USA and Canada. But what went wrong?
This was when concerns about how funded and well-detailed the “Mark Zuckerberg Metaverse” was, started pouring in. Was it really a hoax to get users to spend money on high-tech gadgets and revived the stock market value of Meta or was it really the next step in social networking?
See also: How To Pair Oculus Quest 2 To Phone
Low Market Sales
According to a publication in Forbes Magazine earlier this year, it read that this year, several major firms, including Apple, Meta, HTC, and PlayStation, will release new VR headsets. However, these new releases may not be enough to generate the same level of market excitement as VR headsets did in 2021.
Even if customers chose to use this technology, the present cost of headsets renders it prohibitively expensive for many Americans.
In 2022, VR headset sales fell, suggesting dwindling interest in a troubled metaverse with many people stating the reason for the low market sales was that the metaverse wasn’t called for.
Some other reasons by some users were that while VR and the metaverse was brilliant idea during the isolation in the pandemic, the idea was suddenly dead when the pandemic was over because it just wasn’t needed anymore.
I mean why would you still want to wear a bunch of headgear on your head in a not-so-convenient virtual world when you can actually go outside and interact with people you’ve not seen in weeks maybe months?
One other reason was the price which one VR headgear was at. For example, Oculus Quest 2 is currently at $389 which some consumers consider a rip-off.
While a better version of the Mark Zuckerberg metaverse is rumored to come out on Oculus Quest 3 which is still currently in production. there are also some speculations that it will range from prices such as $499 – $550.
This is just only the price for the headgear since there are also some in-game subscriptions that are going to be made if you purchase it.
Layoffs in the Workforce
While the Metaverse doesn’t belong to any person, Mark Zuckerberg’s metaverse and the idea of Horizon worlds as the evolution of social networking have been linked so closely that they’re almost inseparable.
Mark Zuckerberg was once on his way to becoming the richest man in the world in September 2021. His net worth reached $142 billion making him one of the most richest but not the richest just the third richest man in the world.
At one point his company was valued at 1 trillion, today it has lost about three-quarters of its value. And because of this, it was laying off 11,000 people, or 13% of its total workforce. The firm has squandered lavishly billions in revenue on making the idea of a virtual world called the metaverse become a reality only to collide head-on with low market sales months later.
Recent statistics have shown that Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook have been struggling with grabbing the attention of audiences especially Gen-Zs to other newer social media platforms like TikTok and Youtube. The studies show that the daily active users dropped to record lowest at the end of 2021 for the first time.
It was already a painful year for Meta before announcing the large-scale layoffs in November. Mark Zuckerberg blamed it more on Apple’s new ad privacy policies and how they affected the “small businesses”.
Spending on the Metaverse is actually the biggest reason for layoffs and low market sales which was mainly catapulted by the Prelaunch of the Mark Zuckerberg metaverse cost over $10 billion in 2021 alone.
The amount that has been lost alone to VR tech production has caused the big investors to slow down and get nervous.
Although Zuckerberg has stated that this is a multi-year project and that it may not take full shape until the 2030s so it is only clear when we see the metaverse come to full life as intended.