Meta is struggling to acquire and retain members on Horizon Worlds, its social virtual reality platform – its biggest bet to realize its $10 billion metaverse plan.
Internal documents obtained from the Wall Street Journal reveal that over a year after Meta Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced his metaverse project, the company is dealing with “glitchy technology, uninterested users, and a lack of clarity about what it will take to succeed.”
“It is currently unclear where Metaverse fits into the investment framework,” wrote the WSJ in a memo to Dare Obasanjo, principal product manager for Horizon and the Metaverse platform. “We are overdue for re-evaluating how we invest and allocate resources.”
Horizon Worlds now has fewer than 200,000 monthly active users, a decrease from the 300,000-user milestone Meta announced in February.
Meta had planned to reach 500,000 monthly active users for Horizon Worlds by the end of the year. However, the company has amended its objective to reach around 280,000 monthly active Horizon Worlds users by the end of 2022.
While Meta claimed to have about 10,000 unique virtual worlds (as of February), the research claimed that more than 50 people visit only about 9% of these virtual worlds, and the majority of users do not even return after one month of utilizing the platform.
While Zuckerberg stated that moving to a more immersive online experience will take years, he also said that “the company’s flagship metaverse service for consumers, Horizon Worlds, is falling short of internal performance expectations.”
Vishal Shah, Meta’s VP of Metaverse, reportedly acknowledged earlier this month that various quality difficulties plague Horizon Worlds and that even employees working on the VR social network at the firm are barely using it.
“Simply put, for an experience to become delightful and retentive, it must first be usable and well crafted,” he told employees in an internal memo.