Meta staff don’t “love” the Metaverse app enough: Notes

  • Memos from Metaverse’s VP of Meta to staff say the app has too many quality and performance issues.
  • One note says the team building the metaverse app isn’t spending enough time using it, The Verge reports.
  • Updates to the metaverse app are scheduled to be shared on October 11 at the Meta’s Connect conference.

Internal memos from Metaverse’s VP of Meta to employees working on the metaverse app highlight concerns that it has too many quality and performance issues — and that even employees don’t seem very engaged with it.

The notes, obtained by The Verge’s Alex Heath, were written by Metaverse VP Vishal Shah. In them, he tells the team that they will be in a “quality lock” for the rest of the year so that issues can be fixed before more users get access to the app.

The memos paint a troubling picture of a major component of Zuckerberg’s big bet on the metaverse. The focus on improving the existing product over introducing new features comes as the CEO grapples with a sweeping shift of the company into the metaverse, a shift that comes as Facebook faces a slowdown in its core advertising business and the exit of its Senior Lieutenant Sheryl Sandberg.

The app, called Horizon Worlds, was released on the Meta’s Quest headset last December and is expected to have a mobile and desktop web version soon. The app allows people to create avatars and interact with each other in a virtual reality world. At a shareholder meeting in May, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg told shareholders that the company’s metaverse project is expected to lose “significant” amounts of money over the next three to five years.

Horizon Worlds “did not find a product fit for the market”

Horizon Worlds

Horizon Worlds opened to users 18 and older on December 9.

SOPA Images / Contributor / Getty Images

Horizon World’s issues include a “confusing and frustrating” onboarding experience, Shah said in a note, The Verge reported. He also told employees that they were not flexible enough and needed to cooperate better.

Perhaps most tellingly, Shah writes that the app “doesn’t find product market fit.”

“We are confident that the metaverse is the future of computing and that it should be built around humans,” a Meta spokesperson said in a statement to Insider. “Of course, we’re always making quality improvements and acting on feedback from our community of creators. This is a multi-year journey and we will continue to make what we create better.”

In Shah’s notes to employees, he also asked why the team building the app didn’t spend much time on the app.

“Why don’t we love the product we’ve created so much that we use it all the time,” Shah writes. “The simple truth is, if we don’t love it, how can we expect our users to love it?”

Another note from Shah said that Meta plans to ensure that managers get their teams to use the app at least once a week.

“Everyone in this organization should make it their mission to fall in love with Horizon Worlds,” Shah said in a follow-up note. “You can’t do that without using it.”

The overall quality and graphics of Horizon Worlds have been criticized before.

Zuckerberg was mocked online in August after sharing his Horizon Worlds avatar to users in France and Spain, with the quality of the drawing being compared to 1990s video game graphics. He made another post later in the week with a different avatar meant to show off unreleased graphics enhancements.

“The graphics in Horizon are capable of so much more — even on a headset — and Horizon is improving very quickly,” Zuckerberg said after the backlash. He added that more updates to the app and avatar graphics will be shared at Meta Connect’s annual conference on October 11.

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