When Mark Zuckerberg first shared a glimpse of the Horizon Worlds virtual reality metaverse, the internet didn’t hold back on its criticisms.
Most of the mockery focused on Horizon World’s graphics, prompting him to apologize.
Meta’s CEO said Horizon is “capable of doing so much more” and “improving rapidly.”
It wasn’t the only one, however, as meta collaborators who customize the platform don’t find it very useful.
The Horizon Worlds team
The Verge managed to get hold of an internal memo from the company and claimed that Meta’s Horizon Worlds team was verbally abused by department leaders.
According to the note, the team rarely uses the platform despite orders to use it at work and at home.
Other reminders mentioned that the team had been told to remain on “quality lock” for the rest of the year to continue experiencing issues with the appearance and functioning of the platform.
On September 15, Vishal Shah, VP of Meta’s Metaverse, wrote to employees saying:
“For many of us, we don’t spend that much time in Horizon, and our dogfooding dashboards show this pretty clearly.”
“Why is that? Why don’t we love the product we’ve built so much that we use it all the time?”
“The simple truth is, if we don’t love it, how can we expect our users to love it?”
Horizon Worlds leadership
Two weeks after Shah’s statement, Horizon Worlds management realized that the team member’s involvement with the platform was still unsatisfactory.
In a note written on Sept. 30, Shah wrote that a plan was being developed that she held managers responsible for enforcing mandatory Horizon sessions for employees.
“Everyone in this organization should make it their mission to fall in love with Horizon Worlds. You can’t do that without using it,” said Shah.
“Get in there. Organize times to do it with your colleagues or friends, in both internal builds but also the public build so you can interact with our community.”
Shah admitted that the platform’s onboarding experience is “confusing and frustrating for users.”
She said that “the aggregate weight of papercuts, stability issues, and bugs is making it too hard for our community to experience the magic of Horizon.”
As a result, on September 15, the Horizon Worlds team was ordered to remain in “Quality Lockdown.”
The lockdown aims to ensure the team addresses quality shortcomings and performance issues on the platform before opening it up to more users.
A Meta spokesperson also said that they are making quality improvements based on feedback from a community of developers.
“This is a multiyear journey, and we’re going to keep making what we build better,” said the spokesperson.
The Horizon World division
The platform’s situation is remarkable because Zuckerberg has invested huge sums of money in what he called the future of Meta.
In July, the Metaverse division recorded a significant loss of $2.8 billion for the second quarter, bringing the group’s annual loss to $5.77 billion.
The division lost $10.2 billion last year.
During the second quarter earnings call, Zuckerberg defended shareholders of Facebook Reality Labs (FRL), the Metaverse division.
“This is obviously a very expensive undertaking over the next several years,” he admitted.
“But as the metaverse becomes more important in every part of how we live… I’m confident that we’re going to be glad we played an important role in building this.”
Meta and Web3
Since the company changed its name last fall, Meta has been trying to dominate the Metaverse.
Although Zuckerberg has spent a huge amount of money on the metaverse, the results have yet to be seen.
Meanwhile, Web3 leaders were skeptical of the company’s Metaverse campaign.
Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin said in late July that the metaverse was on its way.
However, he didn’t believe that the companies’ attempts to create the metaverse were going nowhere.
“It’s far too early to know what people actually want,” he said.
“So anything Facebook creates now will misfire.”