Meta Platforms Inc., Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg, said that he remains optimistic about the future of the metaverse over a “five-to-ten-year horizon” despite widespread skepticism of his company’s venture into the technology, he said during the New York Times DealBook Summit on Wednesday.

See related article: Will Facebook’s metaverse future transform how we live online?

Fast facts

  • “Skepticism doesn’t bother me too much,” Zuckerberg said, speaking to the event’s attendees virtually. “We’ve had doubters the whole time.”
  • Zuckerberg said that the division of the company responsible for building the metaverse and virtual and augmented reality headsets, Reality Labs, only represents about 20% of the company’s investment portfolio as Meta remains prioritized on social media.
  • The company formally known as Facebook rebranded as “Meta” in October 2021 in a sign it was pivoting to metaverse-related businesses. Despite spending billions of dollars investing in its metaverse, Horizon Worlds, users have not flocked to the new platform.
  • While the company had originally set a goal to have 500,000 active monthly users by the end of the year, that number was only hovering around 200,000 in October.
  • This has so far proven to be a costly venture for the company which has sunk at least US$10 billion into the project.
  • Users continue to criticize the platform’s graphics and lack of inspired activities to do there. “Congratulations to Mark Zuckerberg for upgrading his Metaverse avatar from looking like a creepy PS1 era model to an Xbox360 default avatar,” wrote one Twitter user.
  • Meta also joined the list of major tech firms to announce significant lay-offs recently, as it shed 11,000, or 13% of its workforce in early November.
  • Zuckerberg addressed this downsizing on Wednesday, admitting that he missed the significant downturns in the economy.

See related article: Zuckerberg’s Meta plans to lay off thousands of employees: WSJ report