Meta promises to double down on the metaverse in 2023

'Meta remains as committed to our vision for the future as we were on the day we announced it,' wrote one top official at the company, amid ongoing questions about its metaverse plans.

Mike Dano, Editorial Director, 5G & Mobile Strategies

December 20, 2022

3 Min Read
Meta promises to double down on the metaverse in 2023

Despite a massive round of layoffs – which also shuttered the company's Connectivity operation – a top Meta official promised the company would continue to pursue its vision of the metaverse.

Meta's Andrew Bosworth – CTO of the company's Reality Labs division that focuses on virtual and augmented reality products, including the Quest headset – wrote in a lengthy blog post of the company's metaverse plans for 2023. He said the company will continue to devote roughly 80% of its investments into its core business of social networking across sites like Facebook and Instagram – but he said Meta would also continue directing the remaining 20% into Reality Labs.

"Economic challenges across the world, combined with pressures on Meta's core business, created a perfect storm of skepticism about the investments we're making," Bosworth wrote. "These are the moments that truly test people's belief in the future."

He continued: "But I can say with confidence that after one of the hardest years in the history of the company, Meta remains as committed to our vision for the future as we were on the day we announced it."

Figure 1: (Source: ZUMA Press Inc/Alamy Stock Photo) (Source: ZUMA Press Inc/Alamy Stock Photo)

In early 2022, Facebook changed its corporate name to Meta in order to underscore its belief in the importance of the metaverse to its future. The company also tasked Reality Labs with making much of that vision a reality.

Metaverse fears and opportunities

Bosworth's post comes at an important time for Meta. Investors are fretting over the company's massive investment into metaverse products and services – an investment that shows no signs of paying off anytime soon. It also comes less than a day after John Carmack, a prominent video game creator who helped lead Facebook's expansion into virtual reality, resigned from the company. "There is no way to sugar coat this; I think our organization is operating at half the effectiveness that would make me happy," Carmack wrote in his exit letter, which he shared on Facebook.

Further, just last month, Meta's Mark Zuckerburg announced he would reduce the size of the company by roughly 13%, laying off more than 11,000 employees.

And Apple, HTC and others are widely expected to begin challenging Meta's VR and AR headsets with their own products and metaverse services.

But Meta's promise to continue to invest in the metaverse is important to network operators around the world. Many have begun considering what a successful metaverse might mean for traffic over their networks.

For example, Narayan Raman of Bell Labs Consulting at Nokia Bell Labs, wrote this week on LinkedIn that metaverse-style services could create a "disruptive" traffic scenario for network operators after 2025. "Global mobile data demand is projected to increase 3x in the conservative scenario to 10x in the disruptive scenario between 2021 and 2030 and reach levels of 9,000-25,000 PB per day. This translates to average monthly usage of 27–75 GB per subscriber in 2030," he wrote.

For its part, Meta has outlined some of the technologies that it believes network operators will need to implement in order to support the company's view of the metaverse. Those include reductions in network latency, symmetrical bandwidth and a "common framework" that would support the sharing of networking metrics among various vendors, providers and network elements.

Already some carriers are hoping to profit from a shift to the metaverse. For example, Korean operator SK Telecom is now offering its "ifland" metaverse platform across 49 countries; it claims to have 12.8 million cumulative users on the platform.

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Mike Dano, Editorial Director, 5G & Mobile Strategies, Light Reading | @mikeddano

About the Author(s)

Mike Dano

Editorial Director, 5G & Mobile Strategies, Light Reading

Mike Dano is Light Reading's Editorial Director, 5G & Mobile Strategies. Mike can be reached at [email protected], @mikeddano or on LinkedIn.

Based in Denver, Mike has covered the wireless industry as a journalist for almost two decades, first at RCR Wireless News and then at FierceWireless and recalls once writing a story about the transition from black and white to color screens on cell phones.

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