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Mark Zuckerberg envisions 1 billion people in the metaverse

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meta platform CEO Mark Zuckerberg told CNBC’s Jim Cramer on Wednesday that the Metaverse could become a significant part of the social network operator’s business later in the decade.

“We basically want to reach about 1 billion people in the Metaverse with hundreds of dollars of commerce. Whether it’s clothing for your avatar, various digital goods for your virtual home, or decorating your virtual meeting room, virtual and augmented reality, and the entire metaverse to make you more productive. utility,” he said.

Investors cut the company’s market capitalization in half this year. growth slowed Also, daily active users fell consecutively for the first time in the past two quarters. Zuckerberg is increasingly turning his company toward what he sees as next-generation content: virtual worlds where people can buy and sell digital goods in avatars that can communicate with each other. The company’s ticker his symbol changed from his FB, a relic of his history as a pure social media provider, to his META earlier this month.

But the company’s investments in augmented and virtual reality date back to 2014, when it paid headset maker Oculus VR $2 billion.shipping the headset could not outnumber Shipment of personal computers and smartphones. Zuckerberg has expressed optimism about the performance of his Meta Quest 2 of the current generation, starting at $299.

“Quest 2 was a hit,” Zuckerberg told the host of “Mad Money.”

“I’m really happy with how it ended. It’s exceeded my expectations. But I think it’s still a long way from reaching the scale of hundreds of millions or even billions of people in the Metaverse. Because it takes time to get there and that’s the north star and I think we’ll get there but you know the other services that we’re running are already somewhat big today It’s scaled.”

Experiences in the Metaverse will likely be more immersive than the text, photos and videos prevalent on Meta’s Facebook and Instagram, so it will be a big theme for Meta in the next decade, Zuckerberg said. said.

Zuckerberg met with Kramer on the Metaverse. The Facebook co-founder said such experiences can foster a sense of being together even when people are physically on opposite sides of the country. He said it is possible to make eye contact and use spatial audio that allows for quiet conversations.

The technology, he said, “is basically going to bring this real presence to life.”

To make it available to customers in the years to come, Meta needs to release a stack of hardware, software, and experience.

“We’re a company at this point that can afford to make large, long-term research investments, and that’s a big focus,” he said.

He expects the economy around the Metaverse to be huge, he said.

There are 3.64 billion monthly active users across the Meta Platforms family of applications. first quarter, up 6% year-on-year. WhatsApp is also an area where Zuckerberg sees growth potential as he hits 2 billion users in 2020.

“As you know, our playbook has been trying to build the service over time and try to serve as many people as possible. , and then basically expanding monetization,” Zuckerberg said. “And we’ve done it with Facebook and Instagram. WhatsApp is really going to be the next chapter. Business messaging and commerce is going to be a big thing there.”

AI Recommendations Similar to TikTok

In addition to spending on the Metaverse, Meta is also investing heavily in developing artificial intelligence, which will allow it to power advertising (which is the source of about 97% of its revenue) and the company’s existing applications. said Zuckerberg.

“We are basically moving from getting most of the content we see on Facebook and Instagram from friends and following graphs to getting more and more content from AI recommendations over time. said Zuckerberg. “And as AI recommendations get better, it will give you access to the entire universe of content out there, not just the content of the people you follow.”

This is the concept promoted by TikTok, which is owned by China’s ByteDance. 1 billion monthly active usersMeta sought to accommodate rapid growth with its introduction Instagram reel feature Zuckerberg told analysts during Meta’s first-quarter earnings call in April that Reel accounts for more than a fifth of the time people spend on Instagram. Now, he hopes his AI enhancements will make Reel even more appealing to users of his Instagram.

“Our AI system can choose based on what it knows about you, what you personally are interested in, what you want to learn, what you want to see,” he said. . “So as it goes, our engineers are making refinements to the model every week. When we check something, the relevance increases by a few percentage points. And then we repeat that and do it the next week. And , you know, that’s always been a big part of what I’ve been focusing on in running this company, and it’s about making speed really fast, and that’s why we’re able to keep improving this very quickly. I can do it.”

Meta is also investing in hardware for AI. alphabet When microsoft.

“We have put an AI research supercluster online. We believe it will be the fastest AI supercomputer when it is fully built later this year. and improved recommendations across social media services and advertising.”

Zuckerberg said the company would hold back on AI investments in the event of a recession.

Comments on Sandberg’s departure

Zuckerberg is departure The company’s operating chief, Sheryl Sandberg. Sandberg built his Facebook advertising business, enabling it to go public in 2012. wall street journal reported that she left after Mehta began reviewing using the company’s resources for wedding planning. A spokesperson for Meta told the newspaper that Sandberg’s internal investigation had nothing to do with her choice to resign.

“I don’t think the press coverage led to her leaving,” Zuckerberg said. “Of course you’d have to ask her about it. I have nothing but gratitude for my work. She will remain on our board. She is a key person. She is a close friend.”

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg talks about riding the

— CNBC’s Jonathan Bunyan contributed to this report.

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