Meta launches Horizon Metaverse in 2022

Facebook’s overarching platforms, Meta Platforms, are doubling short-form video, artificial intelligence (AI) performance in social media feeds, and rolling out new IRL metaverse material.

During his earnings call for the first quarter of 2022 on Wednesday (April 27), Meta CEO Marc Zuckerberg spoke about the upcoming Horizon metaverse and Meta Quest 2 augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) headsets, while teasing the product metavers expected later on the year.

Zuckerberg acknowledged that Metas’ “transition to short video … is not working as well right now,” but added: “We are quite optimistic about it. [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 the trend slow down,” he said, adding that “with our current level of growth, we now expect to slow down the pace” of investing in artificial intelligence. business platform and Reality Labs.

Experience Metaverset

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

Later this year, Meta also plans to release “an advanced headset called Project Cambria, which will be more focused on business use cases and eventually replace your laptop or work setup,” along with eye tracking. and instant emulation of facial expressions for avatars inside Horizon.

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

Feeds, stories, and scrolls – in other words, content – were highly featured when Zuckerberg described how Meta AI now places messages in people’s news feeds outside of their personal universe of connections and tracking, drawing “millions of content” on the platform.

“I think of the AI ​​that we build, not just as a recommendation system for short videos, but as a discovery machine that can show you all the most interesting content that people have shared on our systems on Facebook,” he declares. mentioned.

Ad issues

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

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

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

Meta responds by “improving first-party understanding of what people are interested in by making it easier for them to interact with businesses and our apps, whether it’s shopping on Facebook or Instagram, or messaging businesses on WhatsApp or Messenger”.

Sandberg said Meta “develops advertising 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 company this year, and much of it is moving towards ads that are ‘less dependent on’ individual level data ‘.

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

Also see: Meta, Google accepts UK advertising rules; Will Twitter keep up?

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