Meta is the company behind the most popular social media and messaging apps like Facebook, Messenger, and WhatsApp. Naturally, the tech giant led by IT mogul Mark Zuckerberg attempts to stay a step ahead of innovation at all costs, but that comes with its own risks. As the scrupulous development of the metaverse continues, let’s have a look at the largest mistakes Meta has encountered so far in their Web 3.0 journey.
1) The Visuals
The lack of aesthetics in Meta’s metaverse is well illustrated by the roasting that Mark Zuckerberg had to experience shortly after he shared his metaverse profile pic. Happy to have completed a milestone, Mr. Zuckerberg shared his metaverse avatar only to get slammed by his Twitter audience. At the time, ‘soulless’ and ‘dead-eyed’ were pretty much the go-to description for Zuck’s avatar, giving birth to a tirade of memes.
However, while most of the people on the internet poked fun at the tech mogul, it left a lot of technology enthusiasts extremely worried about the digital future. For instance, Elon Musk’s ex-girlfriend Grimes couldn’t resist from bashing Zuckerberg’s lack of visual appeal.
“Zuck is unfit to run the metaverse,” the Canadian dream pop singer nervously concluded.
If zuck “oversees the Metaverse” it is dead and people who care about art and culture are building something else. also this is bad art
— 𝔊𝔯𝔦𝔪𝔢𝔰 (@Grimezsz) August 26, 2022
2) The Timing
Catching the momentum is a top priority in the IT sector. Meta projected that Horizon Worlds would have around 500,000 active monthly users by the end of 2022. When it comes down to it, there’s only around 200,000 active users at this time, but the real problem is that most of them don’t come back after the first month. According to Meta’s own workers, it’s hard to expect that the users would love the metaverse project if the staff themselves are not really feeling it.
Ultimately, this raises the question: is it the right time for VR headsets to take control of our lives, as the world is still recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic? As the pandemic is over and the heavy restrictions are lifted, data indicates a rising demand for real-life activities. To illustrate, people booked many more airplane tickets during the summer of 2022 than the same period in 2019. With many people longing for physical human contact, here comes Meta with below-generic graphics and VR headsets that aren’t furnished well enough for people to enthusiastically jump into.
3) Not Meeting People’s Expectations
Besides Zuckerberg’s Horizon Worlds, the VR platform didn’t live up to customers’ expectations. Whether a user wants to find endless entertainment in a close-to-reality environment or simply look for job opportunities in the metaverse, the only way to attract loyal customers is to keep them entertained and meet their expectations. To illustrate the issue, Meta’s Reality Labs staff had huge trouble coding the legs.
For a while, metaverse’s people were just cut-in-half, floating in space avatars that resembled ghosts rather than actual people. That raises the question why anyone would want to spend their time in a metaverse with a half-assed version of themself. Commenting on the situation, Andrew Bosworth, Meta’s CTO, said:
“Tracking your own legs accurately is super hard and basically not workable just from a physics standpoint with existing headsets.”
Just last month, Apple CEO Tim Cook called out Mark Zuckerberg on poor implementation of VR technology in Meta’s Web3 project. On top of that, the Apple CEO challenged Zuckerberg’s metaverse vision: “It’s something you can really immerse yourself in, and that can be used in a good way, but I don’t think you want to live your whole life that way”, – referring to Mr. Zuckerberg’s attempt to create an upgraded version of Facebook where people would communicate via VR headsets.
Moreover, as pointed out by Liucija Lenkauskaite of DecentWorld, the project lead of the Swiss real-estate metaverse, “Projects should have a timeless vision and be able to pinpoint and understand the basic needs of any prospective user. The expectations are quite straightforward: people want to have a good time with the least amount of interruptions”.
As the CEO of Meta continues to splash at least $10 billion a year on the metaverse project, the company has to come to terms with gigantic losses of $9.4 billion so far in 2022. Nevertheless, the AR/VR dedicated Reality Labs is expected to endure “significantly bigger” losses in 2023.
Ultimately, the determination shown by Mr. Zuckerberg is worth applause, but it’s yet to be seen if Meta’s metaverse is going to stick in a rapidly changing society where everything matters – the aesthetics, the activities and the skill to depict the physical world as closely as possible.
On the Flipside
Meta is pioneering blockchain and NFT integration in social media platforms, as recently seen on Instagram.
Mark Zuckerberg’s previous disruptive ideas paved the way for communication as we see it today, with the most popular social media platform and the two top messaging apps.
Why You Should Care
Being one of the biggest players in the tech industry along with Google and Microsoft, it’s important to track Meta’s Web 3.0 development. Learning from competitors’ mistakes is crucial in the tech industry, where the inaugural version of a disruptive innovation is usually flawed.
Learn more about the latest metaverse developments: