Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg took to Facebook - where else? - to update the public on today's earnings call. There was a lot of very missable intro-fodder before he said that, "I also want to share some thoughts on our longer-term efforts to build the next computing platform and bring the metaverse to life. This is a major area of investment for us and an important part of our strategy going forward."
"I view this work as critical to our mission because delivering a sense of presence - like you're right there with another person - that’s the holy grail of online social experiences. Over the next decade, these new platforms are going to start to unlock the kinds of experiences I've wanted to build since even before I started Facebook."
He added that, "Along with those social experiences, I expect a massive increase in the creator economy and amount of digital goods and commerce. If you're in the metaverse every day, then you'll need digital clothes and digital tools, and different experiences. Our goal is to help the metaverse reach a billion people and hundreds of billions of dollars of digital commerce this decade."
Building multiple generations
Ever the businessman, Zuckerberg continued to opine that, "Helping to shape the next platform should reduce our dependence on delivering our services through competitors." He went on to recite that Oculus has replaced the 64GB Quest with a 128GB model, as well as a 'strong start' to the EssilorLuxottica smart glasses - otherwise known as Ray-Ban Stories.
"But bringing this vision to life isn't just about building one glasses product. There's a whole ecosystem. We're building multiple generations of our VR and AR products at the same time, as well as a new operating system and development model, a digital commerce platform, content studios, and of course a social platform.
"To reflect the significance of this for our business, today we're announcing a change to our financial reporting. Starting next quarter, we'll begin disclosing financial metrics for Facebook Reality Labs separately from our Family of Apps. This will provide investors with additional visibility into the investments that we're making in augmented and virtual reality.
"In 2021, we expect these investments to reduce our overall operating profit by approximately $10 billion, and I expect this investment to grow even further for each of the next several years."
Connect this Thursday
Like there wasn't enough impetus for anyone with half an eye on the XR market to tune into this week's Facebook Connect, Zuckerberg encourages everyone to, "Tune into Connect on Thursday to hear more about our vision and our work here in more detail."
Facebook's CEO ends his post saying, "I recognise the magnitude of this bet on the future, and I'm grateful for the support of our investors, the creative community, and the thousands of talented people working on this effort inside our company to bring this inspiring future to life."