According to internal documents, Horizon Worlds, part of Mark Zuckerburg’s multi-billion-dollar Metaverse platform, isn’t gaining the same popularity as Facebook or Instagram, falling short of expectations. As a result, its parent company Meta was forced to adjust internal monthly user targets from500,000 to only 280,000.
The Wall Street Journal obtained internal documents that show the current tally of users stands at 200,000, far less than the 3.6 billion active users enjoyed by Meta’s other offerings, Facebook, Instagram, or WhatsApp.
The documents also reveal that after the first month, the number of visitors to Horizon Worlds has dropped off, with only 9 percent of the worlds on the platform being visited by at least 50people.
Horizon Worlds is Zuckerberg’s free virtual reality video game allowing users to interact with others in an online world. The game is part of the ambitious Metaverse being built by Zuckerberg’s company. It has been touted as an opportunity for the tech giant to regain the youth audience it is losing to platforms like TikTok.
However, the quality of Zuckerberg’s Metaverse has been criticized, with some saying its graphics are no different in quality than earlier online worlds like Second Life. In an interview with The Epoch Times, University of New South Wales professor Barney Tan said the success of Zuckerberg’s Metaverse will depend on whether it can reach the sophisticated scale necessary to keep users engaged.
Professor Tan said while it is helpful that a company as large as Meta is “spearheading” the shift to a Metaverse, the problem is that Meta doesn’t have “the best reputation among tech firms.” Former Trump advisor Jason Miller, the founder of the social media platform Gettr said Zuckerberg’s Metaverse is a “computerized extension of identity politics.”
Some experts question whether a wide-scale Metaverse that engages millions of people will have a positive or negative impact. These experts cite some current problems with the platform, including online bullying and addiction.