Metaverse Investors panic as Zuckerberg doubles his investment
META posted a second consecutive turn down in revenue while profits more than halved, as the Metaverse division posted a record nine-figure loss.
Figures released on October 26 show that Meta generated $27.7 billion in revenue in the three months that ended September 30, ranking fourth compared to last year. An increase in costs and expenses by nearly a fifth sent operating profit down 46% to $5.66 billion, while profit fell 52% to just under $4.4 billion.
Despite the dismal financial numbers, Meta was able to record the second quarter of modest growth (+3%) in daily active users (DAUs) on the Facebook platform. Stale after the DAU grew negative for the first time in Q4 2021. The Daily Active's family category, which tracks users on Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp, grew 4% year-over-year.
But it was Meta's costs and expenses that caught the attention of analysts, reaching a record $22 billion in the third quarter, $2 billion more than in the second quarter of this year.
Platforms of the Metaverse
Even though many people might disagree with his Metaverse fixation, Zuck acknowledged that it was a risky investment, saying, “I think that this venture will be significant, and I believe that we must focus on all of these areas.” Zuck later added, “I think those who are patient and invest with us will be generously compensated.” Zuck explained that Meta’s Metaverse venture has four platforms.
Social Metaverse Platform
The first platform is the ‘social metaverse platform’, the most current version of Horizon and its widely mocked avatars. Meta was forced to release a disclaimer at this year’s Connect conference to clarify that the legs in the ‘legs’ video were, in fact, animated as a result of motion capture technology, not VR-based tracking. Zuck’s avatar used to jump, and the move was animated as a result of motion capture technology rather than VR-based tracking.
Virtual Reality (VR)
The second platform is Virtual Reality (VR), which Zuck categorises as consumer-focused and business-focused. The $1,500 Quest Pro VR headset released by Meta is being shipped out already.
Zuck said Metaverse development is a crucial part of the Quest Pro product line. The effort to construct the Metaverse is a vast undertaking, and apparently, it doesn't include the considerable effort of convincing employees that wearing a hefty VR headset would make the time fly.
Employees will be more productive once they come to terms with their instability and stop hurling up their trash baskets every five minutes. That said, there are things that we need to get right, things we need to integrate, things we need to manufacture, and things we're making progress on. If you look at it, some things are going well beyond our expectations, and others may take a bit longer to accomplish.
Augmented Reality (AR)
The third platform includes augmented reality (AR). Zuck described the internal situation as an essential thing they needed to get right, some integration of things, some figuring out how to manufacture things and at which point they are making progress on that. That is because some things are progressing more quickly than anticipated, and others appear to be taking longer.
According to Zuck, the last platform uses "neural interfaces," which are "essential controls for the computing platform." He also observed Meta's augmented reality glasses, which still need to be closer to shipping.
He explained that if you were walking on the street with those glasses, we wouldn't need controllers with them, we wouldn't want to have your hands hovering in the air, and you would always want to talk to it. There will be instances when you'll want something more private. Having a discreet method of interacting with the device will be challenging.
What's Next for Zuck
Zuck is now almost entirely focused on creating a more positive legacy than "the control freak that broke democracy" because he has grown weary of running his rapidly fading social media empire and has amassed all the money he will ever need and developed a share structure that gives him complete control over Meta.
Zuck also seems to disregard the fact that only some are as enthusiastic as he is when he claims that his new Metaverse hardware and software set includes "sensors that can help match your facial expressions and emotions to the avatar you have... Quest Pro, which is already available, allows you to begin experiencing it.
We're expected to think that the man who invented unethical data mining of our internet activities, which the company then sold to the highest bidder, now wants to digitally analyse our emotions and facial expressions to build a better avatar. It needs to be clearer that everyone else would be moving this ahead if we weren't, in Zuck's words, maybe because nobody wants to be known as the one who invented the digital surveillance society.
In a perfect metaverse, users would be able to create their own digital identities independent of any one platform and pick with whom to share their data (and charge for access if they so choose).
Nonetheless, let's consider the positive side. After purchasing Instagram, Zuck loaded it with advertisements to make the most money possible from his new toy. Users of Instagram who were displeased with the platform swiftly switched to TikTok, a new upstart that Zuck is now attempting to remake Instagram into.
The lesson seems obvious. Zuck demonstrated what the world didn't want by being unable to overcome his instinctual tendencies, leading people to seek alternative solutions. If history is any indication, Zuck's Metaverse is similarly insightful, provided he continues to promote it a year from now.