Mark Zuckerberg is on a Quest to Destroy the Metaverse and Web3

    When Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, announced in October that the company would change its name to Meta and become a “metaverse company,” he painted a picture of a utopian future that was still many years away, in which billions of people would spend countless hours immersed in immersive digital environments, working, socializing, and playing games in virtual and augmented worlds. Meta has invested billions of dollars and tens of thousands of employees since then to realize Mark Zuckerberg’s ambition. However, Meta’s attempts to create a metaverse have failed thus far. Meta has instituted a “quality lockdown” for the balance of the year while it redesigns Horizon Worlds, the company’s major virtual reality game, due to its continued unpopularity and problems.

    Struggles To Reshape Business

    While the two executives argued over how to approach the metaverse, a high-ranking official at Meta said he felt “sick to my stomach” thinking about how much money the business had spent on dubious initiatives. The New York Times obtained internal documents and interviewed over a dozen current and former Meta workers to learn about the company’s efforts to reorganize. The company is in a time crunch to rebrand itself and make up for previous failures. Meta’s two primary income generators—Facebook and Instagram—are losing users—particularly among the younger demographic. The privacy change that Apple made to its mobile operating system cost Meta billions of dollars in ad revenue.

    On The Right Path

    In a statement, Andy Stone, Meta’s spokesman, said the company was certain it was on the right track. It’s simple to be skeptical of cutting-edge technological advances, Stone remarked. “Actually building it is a lot harder — but that’s what we’re doing because we believe the metaverse is the future of computing.” A decade ago, Zuckerberg successfully restructured his firm, shifting its focus from desktop functionality to smartphone usability. In the previous year, he gave a similar indication by claiming that funding the metaverse will help Meta transition from one technology age to the next. Meta’s future success will depend on the company’s ability to make virtual and augmented reality goods available to a bigger public. In February, Meta said that more than 300,000 players were utilizing Horizon Worlds. Even while this was a big jump from the last several months, it was still a minuscule percentage of Facebook’s 2.9 billion monthly active users.

    PR Spins to Change Public Image

    Mark Zuckerberg, the creator of Facebook, surprised several employees by making himself a public figurehead for the company’s groundbreaking new metaverse project. For many, many years, Zuckerberg has been under scrutiny for contentious choices he has made regarding political expression on the platform. Mark Zuckerberg appears in advertisements for and working models of Meta.  Zuckerberg described building an immersive metaverse as his “holy grail” in a recent appearance on The Joe Rogan Experience. At the end of August, Zuckerberg announced the expansion of Horizon Worlds to France and Spain on his Facebook page, including an image of his character in the game. However, the avatar’s 2-dimensional, cartoonish appearance was much criticized. “like a 2002 Nintendo GameCube release,” said one commenter. Zuckerberg updated his avatar four days after his initial post, saying that his earlier avatar was “very rudimentary” compared to the “graphics in Horizon are capable of far more.” An artist at Meta claimed in a since-deleted LinkedIn post that his team had designed 40 different iterations of Zuckerberg’s visage over the course of four weeks before settling on the final one.

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