As Meta are reportedly spending up to $10 billion a year on developing Zuckerberg’s vision of the metaverse, a virtual world where people work, socialise, play games, transact and more in an immersive digital environment, you would assume that its going to be good and that it would get broad support from Meta’s own staff.
Now however new reports are emerging that the company’s flagship “metaverse” app – Horizon Worlds is virtually unusable, with quality so poor that not even Meta employees are using it.
The Verge reports obtaining an internal memo from Meta’s VP of Metaverse, Vishal Shah, saying the team would remain in a “quality lockdown” for the rest of the year to “ensure that we fix our quality gaps and performance issues before we open up Horizon to more users.”
The company however seem committed to continuing to plough forwards, despite The New York Times claiming to have spoken to dozens of employees who have expressed concerns about the path being pursued. Indeed, tomorrow at Meta Connect there are expected to be new metaverse features unveiled, including a V.R. headset.
It will be interesting to see what the markets think. Meta shares have been pummelled lately (falling 60% in the past year) and commentators haven’t been much more upbeat. At last weeks Sifted Summit, CEO of games company Improbable, Herman Narula said, “It wasn’t so much the renaming of the company that was helpful. It was the completely disastrous strategy that followed”. He claimed companies developing for metaverse are worried because they think that Meta will do to the metaverse what it’s done to our current version of the internet: monopolise user data and revenues from social media.
It’s all a long way from the upbeat feel earlier this year which saw positive announcements from the likes of Telefonica partnering to build a Metaverse Innovation Hub in Madrid.
Is the metaverse hype or reality? Join the discussion in The Tech Zone at the Total Telecom Congress on the 1-2 November. Passes are free for CSP’s and public sector.