Meta Struggling To Find Users For Its Metaverse Platform
Mark Zuckerberg’s dream project is not picking up as expected. The company’s failing Metaverse division has lowered expectations and is backtracking on releasing new features for Horizon Worlds. The VR platform which lost users due to quality issues has been put on “quality lockdown” until the end of the year.
Meta, the tech giant formerly known as Facebook, is struggling to keep users on its ambitious metaverse entertainment and social media platform, Horizon Worlds – a virtual reality environment where users can create worlds or visit places, hang out, interact or play games with friends and other people.
According to a report by The Verge, Zuckerberg’s virtual reality platform currently has around 200,000 active monthly users. The numbers are a severe drop from the 300,000 user-milestone Meta proudly announced back in May.
Last December, Meta expanded support for the VR platform to all its Quest VR headset users in the U.S and Canada. This move helped increase the platform’s users due to the popularity of Meta’s Quest range of products. The tech giant even touted plans to expand the game to mobile and PC users by the end of year.
However, quality issues have made users lose interest in the platform and has resulted in the company backtracking on many of its plans. Initially, Horizon Worlds was targeted to reach 500,000 active users by the end of the year, but now Meta has lowered the target to 280,000 monthly subscribers.
According to the company, there are 10,000 separate virtual worlds on the platform, but only 9% of these environments were visited by more than 50 players. Most subscribers are not returning to Horizon Worlds after the first month.
Earlier this month, the company’s Metaverse division put Horizon Worlds under “quality lockdown” till the end of the year to address quality issues before rolling out new features.
“Feedback from our creators, users, play testers, and many of us on the team is that the aggregate weight of papercuts, stability issues, and bugs is making it too hard for our community to experience the magic of Horizon,” wrote Vishal Shah, Meta’s VP of Metaverse in a memo to employees.
In the memo, employees were asked to be actively engaged with the platform, and also hinted at introducing time quotas on how much time they need to spend on Horizon Worlds every week.
At the Meta Connect 2022 held last Tuesday, CEO Mark Zuckerberg introduced new features and devices aimed at professionals and corporations who want to make use of virtual reality environments for work. The company unveiled its Quest Pro VR headset and announced a collaboration with Microsoft to bring Windows and services like Office 365, Teams and Xbox Cloud Gaming to Horizon Worlds.
Despite losing over $2 billion for Meta in the last quarter, Zuckerberg is not ready to give up on his most ambitious project yet.
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