Zuckerberg urges Meta employees to use VR for meetings

Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive of Facebook’s parent company Meta, urged his company’s employees to hold virtual-reality headsets for online meetings, leading many to rush to buy the devices.

Meta’s Horizon Workrooms app, which will be launched in January 2021, allows users to communicate as avatars in virtual workspaces. This year, Zuckerberg asked employees to hold meetings through the Horizon Workrooms app, a person familiar with the matter said. But access to the Horizon Workrooms app requires a Meta Quest 2, a virtual reality headset developed by the company.

Many of Meta’s employees had not previously used virtual reality headsets and didn’t have the time to set them up, the sources said. After Zuckerberg’s request, the employees had to buy equipment and register it before supervisors found out.

In August, Meta raised the price of the Quest 2 from $299 to $399. Released in 2020, Quest 2 was originally called Oculus Quest 2, but Meta changed its name to Meta Quest 2 in 2021.

Meta did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Meta spokesman Andy Stone previously said in a statement that it’s easy to “be skeptical of new technologies” but harder to develop them.

“That’s what we’re doing because we firmly believe that the metaverse is the future of computing,” Stone said.

Two Meta employees said some employees within the company referred to important Metaverse projects as “Make Mark Happy,” abbreviated to “MMH (Make Mark Happy).”

Internal memos show that Meta employees don’t have high usage of the Horizon Worlds metaverse app.

“Why can’t we like what we build and keep using it,” Vishal Shah, Meta’s vice president of Metaverse, reportedly wrote in the memo. “The simple fact is that if we Don’t like it, how can we expect our users to like it?”