Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta, explained that the metaviral field could represent a large part of the social network operator’s business in the second half of the decade .
Zuckerberg hopes that the number of Metaverse users will basically reach about one billion people, who will spend hundreds of dollars via e-commerce to buy digital goods, digital content or various things to express themselves.
Whether it’s spending on avatar outfits, various digital goods for their virtual home, or things to decorate a virtual meeting room, services are more productive in VR, AR and across metaverses in general.
Investors have halved the company’s market value this year as growth has slowed and the number of daily active users has fallen sequentially for the first time between the past two quarters.
Zuckerberg has been increasingly directing Meta toward what he sees as the next generation of content, a virtual world where people can buy and sell digital goods for avatars that can communicate with each other.
The company also changed its stock market token from FB, a relic of its history as a social media provider, to META earlier this month.
But Meta’s investment in augmented and virtual reality dates back to 2014, when it paid $2 billion to the maker of the Oculus VR headset.
And shipments of headphones failed to surpass shipments of computers or smartphones. Zuckerberg expressed optimism about the performance of the current generation of the Meta Quest 2, which starts at $ 299.
Zuckerberg said: “Meta Quest 2 was a huge success and exceeded my expectations.” But I still think that it may take some time for the number of Metaverse users to reach several hundred million or even billions.
“I think we may reach that number,” he added. But the other services we run are currently on a somewhat larger scale.
Metaverse must usher in a massive economy
Zuckerberg noted that experiences in metaverses can be more comprehensive than text, images or videos, which are spread across Facebook and Instagram. As a result, they represent an important part of Meta over the next decade.
The Facebook co-founder said that experiences within metaverses can enhance the feeling of being together, even if people are physically apart. It is possible to make eye contact and use spatial sound that allows for quiet side conversations.
But achieving this for customers over the next several years will require Meta to release a combination of hardware, software, and expertise. “We’re at this point a company that can make some big, long-term research investments, and that’s a huge area of focus,” Zuckerberg said.
Meta had 3.64 billion monthly active people across its suite of apps in the first quarter, an increase of 6% year over year. WhatsApp reached 2 billion users in 2020, which is also an area where Zuckerberg sees growth potential.
According to Zuckerberg, the company has been focusing over the past years on building services and serving as many people as possible. The scope of monetization can then be expanded when the number of users reaches one billion, two billion and three billion people.
The company followed suit with Facebook and Instagram, and now it’s WhatsApp’s turn, where business messaging and commerce are important.
In addition to its spending on Metaverse, Meta is investing heavily in developing artificial intelligence, which can enhance advertising – the source of about 97% of revenue – and the company’s existing applications.
The company is basically going from having most of the content you see on Facebook and Instagram come from your friend or tracking graph to getting more and more of that content that comes from AI recommendations
And as AI recommendations improve, you can access content from the people you follow and the full global content out there.
Artificial intelligence makes recommendations similar to Tik Tok
TikTok, owned by Chinese company ByteDance, used this concept in order to reach 1 billion monthly active users.
Meta sought to respond to the rapid growth by introducing the Reels feature on Instagram in 2020. Reels make up more than a fifth of the time people spend on Instagram.
Zuckerberg now expects AI improvements to make Reels more compelling to Instagram users. And the AI system can choose based on what it knows about you, what you might be personally interested in, and what you want to see.
Meta also invests in hardware for artificial intelligence, along with other big tech companies, such as Alphabet and Microsoft.
Meta has created an AI-powered supercomputer called the AI Super Research Group. And she thinks it could be the fastest supercomputer for AI when it’s fully built later this year.
The computer allows researchers within the company to build new models to improve rankings and recommendations across its social networking and advertising services. Zuckerberg said the company may slow its investment in artificial intelligence in the event of a recession.