Meta’s Horizon Worlds Metaverse Isn’t Attracting Permanent Residents

Meta can’t keep a hold of its Horizon Worlds users for more than a month according to internal documents obtained by Wall Street Journal.
Image source: Meta Quest/YouTube

Quick take:

  • Meta’s Horizon Worlds users can barely stick around for a month after joining the platform.
  • Internal Meta documents obtained by Wall Street Journal also show that the platform is yet to reach 200,000 active users.
  • The company was targeting to reach 500,000 users by the end of the year before lowering the projection to 280,000.

Meta’s dream of onboarding its massive user base into the metaverse is getting off to a rough start. The company’s main metaverse product Horizon Worlds cannot even keep visitors for more than a month according to internal Meta documents obtained by Wall Street Journal.

According to the report published by the giant media conglomerate, Horizon Worlds users are leaving the platform a month after joining. The document also showed that Meta scaled its prospects for the platform from a projected active user base of 500,000 to 280,000 as the numbers continued to track lower through 2022.

Even so, Horizon Worlds is still yet to crack the 200,000 active users threshold, suggesting the company may fail to hit the 280,000 revised target for 2022.

Meta has already spent $5 billion on its metaverse business this year to add to last year’s figure of $10 billion. Yet, there is nothing concrete to show for the $15 billion investment so far. Zuckerberg warned earlier this year that the company will continue to burn cash as it builds its metaverse business.

The metaverse is generally described as a 3D virtual space where people interact immersively through gaming, virtual concerts and other experiential events. The burgeoning industry has become a trendy buzz over the last 12 months since Facebook rebranded to Meta Platform to signal the new direction the social media giant was taking.

Researchers from McKinsey and Co earlier this year wrote a report estimating the industry to reach $5 trillion in valuation by 2030. Several mainstream companies have pounced on the opportunity, including technology giants, retail companies and fashion designers.

Although Meta is widely marketed as the lead metaverse player, data shows that web3 companies focusing on metaverse gaming and digital lands like The Sandbox, Axie Infinity and Decentraland have made more inroads than the leading social networking company.

Last week, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg explained that Horizon Worlds is a creator-driven economy, meaning that the metaverse platform relies on the content created by third-party users to grow its user base. 

Wall Street Journal reports that the documents obtained showed most of the user-created metaverse experiences even struggle to reach 50 users, pretty much making them ghost worlds.

Zuckerberg revealed that legs will be coming to Horizon Worlds via a promo video. Whether giving users legs gets them to become permanent residents of Horizon Worlds metaverse remains to be seen.

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