Meta Platforms CEO Mark Zuckerberg reportedly said in an interview with CNBC that the Metaverse will become an important business for the social networking company in the second half of this decade.
“Our vision is to attract about a billion people to spend a few hundred dollars in the metaverse, and they’ll buy digital goods, digital content, digital things to express themselves, whether it’s clothing for an avatar, a virtual home or a mobile phone,” he said. The thing that comes to decorate the virtual meeting room, it can also be the thing that increases productivity in virtual or augmented reality and the metaverse as a whole.”
The company’s market value has shrunk by roughly half this year as Meta’s growth slows and daily active users fall for the first time in two decades. Zuckerberg has been guiding the company toward what he sees as the next generation of virtual worlds, where people can buy and sell digital clothing and other goods for avatars and communicate with each other through them. The company’s ticker also changed from FB to META this month, signaling they are no longer a pure-play social media provider.
But Facebook’s investments in augmented and virtual reality date back to 2014, when the company bought Oculus VR, a maker of headsets, for $2 billion. While headset shipments haven’t surpassed PCs or smartphones, Zuckerberg remains optimistic about the performance of the Meta Quest 2, which starts at $299.
“Quest 2 has been a huge hit,” he said. “I’m happy with the progress. It’s actually exceeded my expectations. But I still think it will take some time for the Metaverse to reach hundreds of millions or even billions of users. , it takes time after all. So it’s like the North Star that guides the way. I think we’ll get there sooner or later. But the other services we run are a little bit bigger these days.”
Zuckerberg said that the main content carriers of Facebook and Instagram are text, photos or videos, but the experience of using the Metaverse is more immersive, so this will be a major theme for Meta in the next 10 years.
Zuckerberg meets with the CNBC host in the Metaverse. The Facebook co-founder said the experience can create a sense of intimacy even when the two parties are thousands of miles apart. He says people can make eye contact, which is difficult to achieve on video calls, and use spatial audio for quiet conversations.
The technology, he says, “is really superimposed to create this real sense of presence.”
Creating that feeling over the next few years will require Meta to release a series of hardware, software and user experiences.
“At this stage, we can afford to make some long-term research investments, which is a big focus for us,” he said.
He expects the Metaverse to spawn a huge economy of scale.
The Meta Platforms portfolio of apps had 3.64 billion monthly active users in the first quarter of this year, up 6 percent year-over-year. WhatsApp will reach 2 billion users in 2020, which is also a potential growth point that Zuckerberg is optimistic about.
“Our previous model was to build services, then serve as many people as possible — 1 billion, 2 billion, 3 billion, and then scale it up commercially,” Zuckerberg said. “It’s the same with Facebook and Instagram. .WhatsApp will open a new chapter where business messaging and commerce will play an important role.”
Develop artificial intelligence recommendation algorithms
Zuckerberg said that in addition to investing in the Metaverse, Meta is also working hard to develop artificial intelligence technology that can boost its advertising business (which accounts for roughly 97% of the company’s revenue) and existing applications.
“Most of the content you see on Facebook and Instagram is from friends or people you follow, and now we are gradually increasing the proportion of content recommended by artificial intelligence.” Zuckerberg said, “With the recommendation of artificial intelligence It gets better and better, and you can see not only what you care about, but also the content of the whole world outside of your attention.”
That’s actually the model of TikTok, which has attracted 1 billion monthly active users with this technology. Meta launched its Reels feature on Instagram in 2020, hoping to follow this model. Zuckerberg said on Meta’s first-quarter earnings call in April that more than a fifth of Instagram users’ time was devoted to Reels. He now expects the addition of artificial intelligence to further boost the appeal of Reels.
“Our AI system can filter content based on what it knows about you and your personal interests and concerns or thoughts,” he said, “so as we get better at this, our The engineers will make improvements to the model every week. When we see that the correlation has increased by a few percentage points, we will repeat this step, and again next week. I have always been concerned about speed in the operation process, so that we can continue to improve Improve quickly.”