Horizon Worlds, Meta‘s flagship metaverse for consumers, is failing to meet internal performance expectations, according to The Wall Street Journal, which reviewed internal company documents.
Meta initially aimed to reach 500,000 monthly active users in Horizon Worlds by the end of the year, but the current figure is less than 200,000, according to the report. Additionally, the documents showed that most users didn’t return to Horizon after the first month on the platform, and the number of users has steadily declined since spring, the Journal said.
Only 9% of worlds are visited by at least 50 people, and most are never visited at all, according to the report.
The report comes as the company’s stock falls, user numbers decline and advertisers cut spending. Meta shares are down 62% so far this year.
Meta rebranded from Facebook last year in order to reflect the company’s ambitions beyond social media. CEO Mark Zuckerberg has specifically been interested in building out the metaverse, which is a virtual world that allows users to work and play together.
As a result, Meta created Horizon Worlds, which is a network of virtual spaces where users can engage with one another as avatars. Individuals can access Horizon through Meta’s Quest virtual-reality headsets.
In an effort to drum up some excitement around the metaverse, Zuckerberg unveiled his company’s newest virtual reality headset, dubbed the Meta Quest Pro, at Meta’s Connect conference Tuesday. The device costs $1,500 and contains new technologies, such as an advanced mobile Snapdragon computer chip.
A Meta spokesman told The Wall Street Journal that the company continues to make improvements to the metaverse, which was always meant to be a multiyear project. Representatives for Meta didn’t immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.
Meta has said it will release a web version of Horizon for mobile devices and computers this year, but the spokesman didn’t have any launch dates to disclose.
Read the full Journal report here.
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