The founder and CEO of Facebook introduced Wall Street to “Metaverse” today, a reimagining of the company over time that entails massive annual investments.
“It simply came to our notice then. A virtual environment where you can be present with people in a digital space. An embodied Internet in which you are, ”he said during a conference call Wednesday after Facebook’s mixed second-quarter results.
The company’s Oculus division is a pioneer in headphones and virtual and augmented reality content and is growing. Zuckerberg mentioned Metaverse this week and noted plans to hire a team to develop it. But today Zuckerberg has received most of the call to describe virtual reality as the future of Facebook, “the ultimate expression of social technology” and something he “dreamed of building from long before Facebook started, which is now just beginning to focus on “.
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He called Metaverse “the next generation of the Internet and the next chapter of us as a company” and said people will end up going “from seeing us as a social media company to seeing us as a Metaverse company.” .
Executives refused to quantify the annual investment above the “billion.”
Zuckerberg said no company can develop it on its own, which is an ecosystem that requires new protocols, new payment systems (basically all new) and will create a lot of economic value.
The next launch of the Facebook product are the smart glasses with Luxxotica and Ray-Ban, on the way to full AR glasses in the future. But Zuckerberg stressed that his Metaverse does not aim to sell expensive equipment at a great premium, but to build a social product for hundreds of millions of people. Facebook has about three billion monthly active users worldwide.
He said the Metaverse would be accessible from all devices and applications. Users can play games, work, create with friends, and do everything they do on the Internet today, “as well as some things that don’t make sense on the Internet today, like dancing.”
The idea is to feel “you’re really there with someone else,” creating completely new experiences and financial opportunities. He said the trade will become increasingly important on Facebook as it builds up on Metaverse.
Wall Street analysts – a very “what can you do for me now” group that wasn’t overly impressed by the latest quarterly results, seemed a little baffled by Metaverse, which was trying to get a picture of what it will cost and its specific business ? model. He wondered if the $ 5 billion a year investment was a good stadium. In a sense, yes, said David Wehner, chief financial officer of Facebook, and noted, “We said billions, and your estimate is billions.”