Facebook’s parent company is under pressure to focus less on the metaverse – as investors say it is an experimental bet causing “supersized and terrifying losses”.
The tech giant changed its name to Meta last year under plans to build a virtual world that would be used by millions of people.
But Mark Zuckerberg’s metaverse has been beset by technical problems, with user numbers far below the targets set by executives.
The latest figures show Reality Labs, the division building the metaverse, lost £3.16bn between July and September, compared with £2.27bn in the same period a year earlier.
Investors rushed to dump Meta’s stock after the company warned that losses linked to the metaverse “will grow significantly” next year.
When asked why his company is focused on experimental bets, Zuckerberg said: “It would be a mistake for us to not focus on any of these areas that will be fundamentally important to our future.”
But analysts have said that the metaverse “feels like one big gamble” – especially given the current economic crisis – and fear the road ahead will be “long and painful”.