Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta’s ambitious metaverse division has taken a hit of $2.8 billion loss in the second quarter. This comes despite the company’s virtual reality (VR) hardware and software sales seeing continued growth. The Q2 loss puts Meta’s metaverse division’s year-to-year losses at $5.77 billion.
The metaverse division called Facebook Reality Labs stands out from Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp. It focuses on building the hardware, software, and content central to Meta’s push into the metaverse. Facebook Reality Labs generated $452 million in revenue in the period down 35% from last quarter. In 2021, the division posted an annual loss of $10.2 billion.
Zuckerberg said this is obviously a very expensive undertaking for the company. He believes that as the metaverse becomes more important, Meta will be glad that it played an important role in building this. Zuckerberg rebranded Facebook as Meta in 2021 to re-orient the company’s ethos towards dominating the metaverse. He sees the metaverse as an immersive, future version of the internet navigated by digital avatars. Zuckerberg says avatars will become central to commerce, work, entertainment, and social interaction. Despite another major loss, he managed to convince shareholders that the metaverse is a savvy long-term strategy.
Meta’s CEO says that by helping develop these platforms, they will have the freedom to build these experiences the way that the overall industry believes will be the best. He said it will not be limited by the constraints that competitors place on the company. Zuckerberg feels strongly that developing these platforms will unlock hundreds of billions of dollars. He said the metaverse enables deeper social experience where one feels a real sense of presence with other people irrespective of what they are doing – games or meetings.
Furthermore, Meta plans to launch a web version of its Horizon social metaverse platform later this year.