According to Zuckerberg, the metaverse “has to be built by someone.” Speaking at a technology forum, he explained, “I think ten years from now things will look very different than the zone we’re in for the next couple of years. […] I remain optimistic about everything that we were optimistic about.”
Meta’s latest results, released on October 26, showed that Reality Labs, the division that creates the metaverse, posted its biggest quarterly loss ever in the fourth quarter of 2020. In 2022, Zuckerberg’s VR business was worth $9.44 billion, approaching the $10 billion loss recorded in 2021.
At the time during the results conference, Zuckerberg wasn’t worried about the costs, calling the metaverse “the next computing platform.” Now he added another shovel to it:
“We are not going to be here in the 2030s, and we are not going to use computing devices and communicate with exactly the same devices that we have today. Someone has to create them, invest in them and believe in them.” However, Zuckerberg acknowledged that the plans come with a price: On November 9, Meta had to lay off 11,000 employees. The CEO stated that “huge investments are being planned,” including in the hardware that powers the metaverse.
He said the company “thought the economy and business were going to move in a certain direction” based on positive numbers for e-commerce businesses in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021. “Obviously that didn’t work out,” Zuckerberg added. “Over the next few years, our operations will focus on efficiency, discipline and rigor, as well as operating under much tougher conditions.” Despite Meta’s apparent focus on building the metaverse, Zuckerberg said 80 percent of the company’s investments go to its flagship social media platforms and will continue to do so “for quite some time.”
Investment in Reality Labs is “less than 20 percent,” at least “until the metaverse becomes something more,” he said. Zuckerberg said that of the 20 percent invested in Reality Labs, 40 percent will go to virtual reality (VR) headsets, with the other half or more going to what he considers “the most important form factor in the long term.” […] Normal glasses that can take you to a world with holograms.”
Zuckerberg has also dealt several blows to other tech companies, including Apple, for their restrictive App Store policies, which also restrict crypto exchanges and NFT marketplaces. “I think Apple has shown itself to be the only company that is trying to unilaterally control what apps get on the device, and I don’t think that’s a sustainable or good place,” Zuckerberg said.
He pointed to other computing platforms, such as Windows and Android, which are not as restrictive and even allow other app markets and the downloading of non-published apps, the use of third-party software or apps. He added that Meta is committed to ensuring that its existing virtual reality modules and future augmented reality (AR) modules can be loaded, and hopes that future Metaverse platforms will be open in this way. “I think it’s problematic when a company can control what apps we get on a device.”
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