October 19, 2022
By Anjali Kochhar
A new Wall Street Journal report has shown that Meta struggles to keep users engaged with glitchy features and empty worlds.
With a $400 price tag to access the platform via the Quest 2 headset, the metaverse isn’t yet accessible to the casual user. Those who do get a chance to try the tech experience baffling branded content, persistent bugs, and empty worlds with no user interactions.
Even employees are not able to enjoy the full features of meta’s metaverse.
According to a Wall Street Journal report, last month, in response to user complaints, Meta had put the Horizon platform into “lockdown” — pausing the rollout of new features while it works to improve the user experience of existing elements in the virtual reality world.
Users have criticized the avatars’ curious lack of legs as well as having few other users to interact with. Internal statistics, as reported by WSJ, indicate that only 9% of worlds built by users are ever visited by at least 50 people, while most never receive any visits at all.
Some female users also report sexual harassment and digital groping, prompting Meta to institute a safety feature that creates a virtual 4-foot buffer around avatars on the platform.
WSJ further reported men outnumber women by two to one on the platform and that — while reporting — a WSJ staff member was asked to expose herself by a user she interacted with online.
As per the report, internal documents show Meta has fallen far short of its goals for regular monthly users.
The company initially had set a goal of 500,000 monthly users by the end of 2022, but has changed that figure to 280,000. The documents show the platform has less than 200,000 current users. Most users generally don’t return to the app after the first month, while more than half of Quest 2 headsets are out of use within six months WSJ reported.
“An empty world is a sad world,” WSJ reported one document said in its summary of the company’s efforts to attract users to worlds where they would find others.
About the author
Anjali Kochhar covers cryptocurrency stories in India as well as globally. Having been in the field of media and journalism for over three years now, she has developed a sharp news sense and works hard to present information that goes beyond the obvious. She is an avid reader and loves writing on a wide range of subjects.