Meta made several announcements during Meta Connect 2022 about products and partnerships that will help enable the next generation of Web3 virtual environments.
As Meta lays off more than 11,000 employees, Facebook’s parent company, instagram and WhatsApp cut its workforce by 13% and extended its hiring freeze until the first quarter of next year. As The Guardian reminds us, is this situation entirely due to Zuckerberg? Where is part of a larger tech slowdown? There are meta-specific factors at play, but if you put this news in the context of what’s happening in the global tech industry, it’s the latest, biggest blow to jobs. This sector, which, like others, is not impervious to geopolitical and economic problems caused by other modern empires (such as Russia, China and even the United States).
The meta has problems on several fronts. Advertising is its main source of income and this has been affected by the global economy. Apple has dealt a blow to social media companies by making it much harder for them to track user behavior across apps and thus create profiles for advertisers, and it also faces relentless competition from TikTok and… other apps and Meta’s stock price is down 70% so far this year, reflecting the advertising situation but also investor skepticism about a multibillion-dollar investment in the metaverse.
Losses on the part of the company that builds its metaverses would increase “significantly” in 2023. That’s a lot of money considering the Reality Labs unit has lost $9 billion so far this year. In the first nine months of the year, Reality Labs generated $1.4 billion in revenue, which sounds pretty impressive, but not when you compare it to the rest of the business’ $82 billion in revenue. Meta remains very profitable: Net income, a measure of U.S. profit, was $39 billion last year. But The Metaverse won’t be making any significant additions to this number anytime soon.
Meta Connect 2022
59% of US adults who work remotely say they won’t go back to working in an office
It will take a long time for Metaverse to become as mainstream as other apps, but Meta focused during the announcements on establishing its credibility with real products and revenue streams and clear market segmentation. Prioritizing making messages understandable and credible to investors. It highlighted developer revenue successes in the Quest Store and focused on popular verticals with high dollar value: gaming and enterprise computing. It seeks to provide certainty to investors to gain stability.
Its partnership with Microsoft also lends credence to its claim that it aims for Metaverse to be an open and collaborative ecosystem with the porting of the Office 365 and Teams suite to Quest, which also helps bolster its narrative.
Meta has segmented its product lines of VR/AR equipment so that they are clearly linked to different target segments:
- The Quest headset is primarily aimed at gamers
- The newly announced Quest Pro is primarily aimed at the enterprise market (and secondarily remote workers and high-income earners who spend money on technology)
- Ray-Ban Stories made for AR apps.
Meta demonstrated its avatar enhancements to help capture people’s imaginations and show that not all virtual worlds will necessarily look like Roblox. Meta also showed off its new Avatar Codec, which is far from commercial use, but showed impressive levels of photo realism. The company has tried to base its vision of the metaverse on open standards and collaboration, we’ll see if this is followed by facts… In any case Mark Zuckerberg closed his opening speech by stating that “Their role is not only to help build an open ecosystem, but to ensure that the open ecosystem prevails in the next generation of the Internet.”
Facebook said it had 1.98 billion daily active users in the third quarter of 2022
Like any ecosystem, it relies on developers to virtual reality and mixed, the meta needs a community so that the Metaverse can provide “killer apps” for users. To date, $1.5 billion has been spent on games and apps in the Meta Quest Store, and about one in three titles generate multi-million revenue. App Lab, now has more than 2000 apps.
Developers can also benefit from Navigator Meta Quest and Progressive Web Apps (PWA) to develop 2D apps. On Meta Quest Pro, users can open these apps in an overlay without leaving their current VR experience, thanks to 12GB of RAM. PWAs are an industry standard for installable web apps and are already supported in Meta Quest 2. PWAs also work in virtual reality. More and more developers are creating PWAs for VR, including apps like Xbox Game Pass (beta), Dropbox, Adobe Acrobat Pro, Coursera, LastPass, and Peacock, all of which are in development. Microsoft has added Meta Quest support to their popular PWABuilder development tool, making it easier than ever to build PWAs for their platform.
The Meta Avatars store, which launched on Facebook, Instagram and Messenger in June, is coming to VR later this year. Over time, we plan to release creative tools so you can design custom avatar items and sell them.