Meta VP tells staff to make the metaverse ‘so obviously successful’ that his dad stops calling every week to ask about it

  • A Meta VP told staff to “buckle down” and “build great products” for the metaverse, per The Verge.
  • Only one in 10 users reportedly come back to its Horizon metaverse platform after a month.
  • The VP reportedly said he wants the metaverse and VR to be “so obviously successful that my dad stops calling me every week to ask” about it.

Meta vice president Mark Rabkin reportedly told employees this week that they need to focus on making the best metaverse products possible — and the mission is a little bit personal. 

“Let’s buckle down. Let’s be more efficient. Let’s build great products,” Rabkin said during an internal roadmap presentation of Meta’s latest VR and AR products this week that was obtained by The Verge’s Alex Heath.

“And please, let’s make the metaverse and VR so obviously successful that my dad stops calling me every week to ask me about it,” he reportedly added.

Meta didn’t respond to Insider’s request for comment ahead of publication. 

Rabkin’s comments comes after Meta saw many customers of its flagship virtual reality headset, the Quest, lose interest in Horizon, its virtual reality social platform where headset owners can create avatars and hang out with other users in the metaverse.

Since Horizon was rolled out to Quest users in early December of 2022, it has attracted more than 300,000 monthly users, an employee with knowledge of Meta’s VR efforts told The Verge. But only one in 10 users come back to Horizon after a month, The Verge reported, despite the Quest headset’s popularity, with 20 million units sold to date.

The slipping usage stats come as Meta continues to pour billions into its metaverse hardware and software efforts. In 2022, Meta’s Reality Labs — Meta’s business and research unit for the metaverse — lost $13.7 billion in 2022 after CEO Mark Zuckerberg invested $15 billion into the efforts that same year alone. Zuckerberg said he expects Reality Labs to lose even more money in 2023. 

Still, Meta said its metaverse efforts aren’t slowing down.

“We’re going to continue to invest meaningfully in this area given the significant long term opportunities that we see,” Susan Li, Meta’s chief financial officer, said in February during the company’s earnings call.

That is why Meta is keen on delivering better products that will keep existing users engaged while attracting new ones. 

During Meta’s product road map presentation, Meta executives reportedly announced that the company is launching its Quest 3 headset later this year that is expected to be thinner and more powerful than the $400 Quest 2. A cheaper version of its headset is slated to come out in 2024, along with smart glasses with a “neural interface” controller wristband by 2025, The Verge reported. Meta’s flagship augmented reality glasses — which Zuckerberg said will one day be used as much as mobile phones — are expected to come out by 2027, according to the report. However, plans for a successor to the more expensive Quest Pro have been nixed, per The Verge.

In regards to Horizon, VP Vishal Shah said one of his main goals is to keep at least 20% of Horizon’s user-base on the platform and to double the amount of people using Meta avatars across its VR platform, including non-VR platforms like Facebook and Instagram, to 75 million, The Verge reported.

But only time will tell if Meta’s products will keep users active in the metaverse. 

“We have to get enthusiasts fired up about it,” Rabkin told employees, per The Verge. “We have to prove to people that all this power, all these new features are worth it.”