Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg faces challenges in realizing its metaverse strategy, with a significant decline in sales for virtual reality (VR) headsets and augmented reality (AR) glasses in the United States.
According to a recent CNBC report, sales dropped nearly 40% to $664 million in 2023, a substantial decrease from the $1.1 billion recorded in the previous year.
Since Zuckerberg’s announcement two years ago to shift away from the Facebook vision in favor of virtual reality and a new form of interaction under the “Meta” rebrand, various initiatives have been launched. However, the outcomes have yet to align with the ambitious expectations set by the tech giant.
In 2022, Meta invested $2.5 million across seven European countries to explore the risks and opportunities of the metaverse. Despite these efforts, the “Reality Labs” unit, housing Meta’s metaverse endeavors, reported losses exceeding $13.7 billion in the same year.
Concerns arose about the possibility of Meta abandoning its metaverse ambitions due to these significant losses. In response, Andrew Bosworth, CTO & Head of Reality Labs, reassured in December 2022 that Meta remains committed to metaverse investment, emphasizing the importance of community support.
Despite fluctuating fortunes, the metaverse is still in its early stages. Governments, such as those in China and the UAE, are recognizing its opportunities and potential while taking steps to embrace and safeguard users. Projections indicate a positive trajectory, with the global metaverse market reaching $234.04 billion in 2022 and an anticipated growth to $3,409.29 billion by 2027.