Meta posts surprisingly strong quarterly numbers. Meanwhile, Mark Zuckerberg quashes rumors of a pivot away from the Metaverse.
Meta beat expectations in the first quarter of 2023, and is growing revenue again after three disappointing quarters. The company also has other good news: Facebook added 37 million users year over year.
Wall Street responded positively: Meta’s stock value jumped over 10 percent after hours. The stock is now up 164 percent from its November 2022 low.
Moving away from the Metaverse? Not really
Rumors recently surfaced that Meta was pivoting away from its Metaverse vision and instead investing more heavily in AI. Zuckerberg denied this in a Facebook post.
“A narrative has developed that we’re somehow moving away from focusing on the metaverse vision, so I just want to say upfront that’s not accurate. We’ve been focusing on both AI and the metaverse for years now, and we will continue to focus on both.”
Meta’s numbers (see above) back this up: The operating loss of Reality Labs, Meta’s Metaverse division, is not only still consistently high, it’s growing. Research and development cost Meta nearly $4 billion in the first quarter of 2023, up 50 percent year-over-year. And in 2022, Meta invested $13.7 billion in the Metaverse.
“Building the metaverse is a long term project, but the rationale for it remains the same and we remain committed to it,” Zuckerberg wrote.
Meta Quest 3 is coming
Meta’s CEO reaffirmed once again that a “next-generation Quest headset”, presumably Meta Quest 3, will be released later this year. He also announced a number of new VR milestones:
- More than a billion Meta Avatars have been created so far
- Since last year, the number of Quest apps with at least $25 million in revenue has doubled
- More than half of daily active Quest users spend more than an hour on their device
The CEO did not reveal how many daily active users there are. The Wall Street Journal recently reported 6.37 monthly Quest users (as of October 2022).
Zuckerberg wrote the following about the new Meta Quest:
“We launched Quest 2 almost three years ago at this point. It was a very big step forward for VR, and I’m really excited to show the world all the improvements and new technology we’ve developed since then at a price point that will be accessible for lots of people.”
A leak from March said Meta Quest would be slightly more expensive than the $400 Meta Quest 2. At the same time, CTO Andrew Bosworth hinted that the current headset could remain on the market for a bit longer, implying that it won’t be immediately replaced by Meta Quest 3.
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You can read all about the Meta Quest 2 and Meta Quest Pro in the linked reviews.
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