The metaverse may play a significant role in the social network operator’s business in the second half of this decade, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in an interview with Jim Cramer on CNBC on Wednesday.
“We hope to basically get to around a billion people in the metaverse doing hundreds of dollars of commerce, each buying digital goods, digital content, different things to express themselves, so whether that’s clothing for their avatar or different digital goods for their virtual home or things to decorate their virtual conference room, utilities to be able to be more productive in virtual and augmented reality and across the metaverse overall,” he said.
As growth has slowed and the number of daily active users has decreased sequentially for the first time between the last two quarters, investors have cut the company’s market valuation in half this year. The company is being more directed by Zuckerberg toward what he sees as the next generation of content: a virtual marketplace where users can exchange digital items for talkative avatars. Earlier this month, the company’s ticker symbol, FB, which was a holdover from its days as the only supplier of social media, was replaced with META.
The company, however, began investing in augmented reality and virtual reality in 2014 when it spent $2 billion acquiring the headset manufacturer Oculus VR. Headset shipments have not been able to surpass shipments of PCs or smartphones. Zuckerberg showed confidence in the capabilities of the $299 Meta Quest 2 of the current iteration.
“I’ve been really happy with how that’s gone. It has exceeded my expectations. But I still think it’s going to take a while for it to get to the scale of several hundreds of millions or even billions of people in the metaverse, just because things take some time to get there. So that’s the north star. I think we will get there. But, you know, the other services that we run are at a somewhat larger scale already today.”
In the first quarter of 2018, Meta Platforms had a 6% year-over-year increase in the number of monthly active users across its family of applications to 3.64 billion. Zuckerberg sees possibilities for growth in WhatsApp, which had 2 billion users by the year 2020.Read more about this at cnbc.com