The metaverse is struggling, even among its own creators.
Meta’s VR social network Horizon Worlds is unpopular with employees and has serious problems with quality, according to an internal company memo, The Verge reported.
The company’s new VP of Metaverse Vishal Shah, who replaced Vivek Sharma, pleaded with employees last month to take time out of their day to “fall in love” with Horizon Worlds, following another message detailing a number of issues with the product.
The platform was released on Meta’s VR headset in December last year and is due for release on mobile and desktop in the near future, but given its clear problems it looks like it could be pushed back.
Shah’s email, dated Sept. 15, explained that the platform is lacking in quality and usability. “Since launching late last year, we have seen that the core thesis of Horizon Worlds — a synchronous social network where creators can build engaging worlds — is strong,” he wrote.
“But currently feedback from our creators, users, playtesters, and many of us on the team is that the aggregate weight of papercuts, stability issues, and bugs is making it too hard for our community to experience the magic of Horizon. Simply put, for an experience to become delightful and retentive, it must first be usable and well crafted.”
He noted that the onboarding experience in particular was “confusing and frustrating,” and that they must “introduce new users to top-notch worlds that will ensure their first visit is a success.”
Employees must “fall in love” with Horizon Worlds
However, the key indicator for the platform’s success, according to Shah, is how much the platform is actually being used internally.
“For many of us, we don’t spend that much time in Horizon and our dogfooding dashboards show this pretty clearly,” Shah said.
“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?”
Shah told employees that, “Everyone in this organization should make it their mission to fall in love with Horizon Worlds. You can’t do that without using it. 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.”
The metaverse was mocked earlier this year when CEO Mark Zuckerberg posted a “selfie” of his metaverse avatar, attracting mass criticism with many saying the graphics had much to be desired.
In response, Zuckerberg posted an updated version of his avatar to Instagram, adding that the improved graphics would be rolled out at Meta’s annual Connect conference on Oct. 11.
Meta did not immediately respond to request for comment.
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