Earnings Report: Zuckerberg's Metaverse Dream Becomes a $13.7 Billion Loss for Meta
Meta, the company behind social media giant Facebook, continued to bleed money in relation to its virtual reality-focused Reality Labs business in the fourth quarter of 2022, posting an operating loss of some $4.28 billion. In total, the unit’s operating loss for 2022 totaled as much as $13.72 billion.
Reality Labs reported a total income from operations of $6.4 billion for the fourth quarter of 2022, and $28.94 billion for the full year, as indicated by data from Meta’s financial report for the October-December 2022 period.
At the same time, in spite of the negative financial performance of the virtual reality-focused unit, Facebook’s leadership remains determined to maintain the company’s investments in VR and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, according to Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Meta and the social media platform’s co-founder.
“I want to give some updates on our priority areas. Our priorities haven’t changed since last year. The two major technological waves driving our roadmap are AI today and over the longer term the metaverse,” Zuckerberg stated during the conference call during which Meta’s executives discussed the company's results for the fourth quarter of 2022.
Meta’s flagship virtual reality headset, Quest Pro, is a key product related to the company’s plans to develop its virtual reality business, according to Facebook’s co-founder.
“We shipped Quest Pro at the end of last year, and I’m really proud of it. It’s the first mainstream mixed reality device, and we’re setting the standard for the industry with our Meta Reality system. As always, the reason why we’re focused on building these platforms is to deliver better social experiences than what’s possible today on phones,” the CEO said. “The value of [Meta Reality] is that you can experience the immersion and presence of [virtual reality] while still being grounded in the physical world around you.”
Zuckerberg added that the company is readying to roll out a new VR-enabled device in 2023, as it is expecting the Meta Reality ecosystem to rapidly grow in the coming years.
“The MR ecosystem is relatively new, but I think it’s going to grow a lot in the next few years,” he said. “Later this year, we’re going to launch our next generation consumer headset, which will feature Meta Reality as well, and I expect that this is going to establish this technology as the baseline for all headsets going forward, and eventually of course for [augmented reality] glasses as well.”