Meta Horizon Worlds loses users and fails to meet goals: report

Horizon Worlds, Meta’s flagship consumer metaverse, is failing internal performance expectations, according to The Wall Street Journal, which reviewed internal company records.

Meta originally aimed to reach 500,000 monthly active users in Horizon Worlds by the end of the year, but the current figure is less than 200,000, according to the report. In addition, the documents showed that most users did not return to Horizon after the first month on the platform, and the number of users has steadily declined since the spring, according to the Journal.

Only 9% of the worlds are visited by at least 50 people, and most are never visited, according to the report.

The report comes as the company’s stock plummets, user numbers drop and advertisers cut back. Meta stocks are down 62% so far this year.

Meta switched from Facebook last year to reflect the company’s ambitions beyond social media. CEO Mark Zuckerberg was specifically interested in building out the metaverse, a virtual world in which users can work and play together.

As a result, Meta created Horizon Worlds, a network of virtual spaces where users can interact with each other as avatars. Individuals can access Horizon through Meta’s Quest virtual reality headsets.

In an effort to spark some excitement around the metaverse, Zuckerberg unveiled his company’s latest virtual reality headset, called the Meta Quest Pro, at Meta’s Connect conference Tuesday. The device costs $1,500 and includes new technologies, such as an advanced Snapdragon mobile computer chip.

A Meta spokesperson told The Wall Street Journal that the company continues to make improvements to the metaverse, which was always intended to be a multi-year project. Meta representatives did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

Meta has said it will release a web version of Horizon for mobile devices and computers this year, but the spokesperson had no launch dates to reveal.

Read the full Journal report here.

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