Meta launches Horizon Metaverse in 2022

Facebook’s parent platforms, Meta Platforms, are doubling down on the performance of short video, artificial intelligence (AI) in social media feeds, and introducing new IRL metaverse material.

During his Q1 2022 earnings call on Wednesday (April 27), Meta CEO Marc Zuckerberg spoke about the upcoming Horizon metaverse and the Meta Quest 2 augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) headset, while teasing the product metavers that are expected later this year.

Zuckerberg acknowledged that Meta’s “transition to short video… isn’t monetizing very well right now,” but added, “We’re pretty optimistic about [monetization] long-term.”

He noted that Instagram users now spend 20% of their screen time watching Reels videos and 50% of Facebook screen time now goes to video. Other parts of the business are not so vibrant right now.

“The acceleration of e-commerce has led to excessive revenue growth, but we are now seeing that trend abating,” he said, adding that “with our current level of growth, we now expect the pace” of investment in AI to slow down. business platform and Reality Labs.

Discover the Metaverse

As for the Metaverse itself, Zuckerberg said the company plans to “launch a web-based version of Horizon later this year, giving people easy access to Metaverse experiences from much more than platforms, even without the need for a helmet.” .

Later this year, Meta also plans to release “a high-end headset called Project Cambria, which will focus more on business use cases and eventually replace your laptop or work setup,” along with eye-tracking and instant emulation of facial expressions for avatars. within Horizon.

Read more: Meta Store Becomes IRL ‘Gateway to the Metaverse’ with Ray-Ban Stories and More

Feeds, stories, and roles — in other words, content — played a big part when Zuckerberg described how Meta AI is now posting into people’s news feeds outside of their personal universe of connections and tracking, pulling “millions of content” onto the platform.

“I see the AI ​​we’re building not just as a short video recommendation system, but as a discovery engine that can show you the most interesting content people have shared on our systems on Facebook,” he said. to declare. called.

Advertising Problems

Advertising remains a major concern for Meta, with Apple’s privacy changes making it more difficult for advertisers and brands to track and capture ad user behavior data. Meta estimated that Apple’s data privacy change could cost the platform about $10 billion by 2022.

Asked about cohort-based targeting, ID-free targeting, and privacy-focused targeting as innovations to recoup the estimated $10 billion in lost ad revenue, COO Sheryl Sandberg said, “If our long-term business efforts are successful, we can close this loop directly on our own service.”

Apple drew a lot of attention to the Meta Q1 revenue call when analysts asked how the company plans to deal with other changes coming to the next iteration of iOS, with Zuckerberg citing the resulting loss of signal from Apple’s iOS changes as “significant headwind”.

Meta responds by “improving the initial understanding of what people care about by making it easier for them to interact with businesses and our apps, whether that’s shopping on Facebook or Instagram, or messaging companies on WhatsApp or Messenger.”

Sandberg said Meta is “evolving ad systems to do more with less data” through the development of privacy-enhancing technologies, adding: “We are significantly increasing our investment in AI and machine learning across the business this year, and a lot of that has gone into effect. to ads that are “less reliant on ‘individual-level data’.”

On the regulatory side, Sandberg said “the rules governing the internet are being rethought and rewritten, certainly in Europe, but increasingly around the world,” adding that Meta expects the European Union’s Digital Markets Act (DMA) to “significant challenges for our industry. We are working with European regulators on these rules.

Also see: Meta, Google accepts UK ad rule; Will Twitter follow?

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