Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook CEO, is under pressure in the public light. This news comes after two senators voiced concerns over the CEO’s plans to target teens to save Horizon World, the CEO’s metaverse project.
The two senators, Richard Blumenthal from Connecticut and Massachusetts’ Edward Markey, criticize the CEO’s move, citing that he has a long-standing history of failing to protect teens and children. The senators are calling for Zuckerberg to halt all operations to set up Horizon Worlds for teens.
Mark Zuckerburg is Under Pressure From Senators
The CEO is under pressure because of his spending in the metaverse. The company lost over $26 billion in Q4, and investors are questioning his adventures into the metaverse because they need to yield results.
In addition, the user base of Horizon Worlds has been shrinking consistently over the past few months, with a high bounce rate. The bounce rate refers to the number of people initially attracted to a platform, and when they join, their interest fades, and they leave.
Meta had some good numbers, saying it could attract over 500k users. However, the estimates were cut by almost half to 280k. The platform has never reached 200k. Investors are concerned about this trend and want to see better results.
Access to Horizon Worlds
Access to Horizon Worlds was initially set for individuals over 18. However, in recent reports, the CEO will relax the requirement, allowing players to range from 13 years upward.
The senators have raised valid points on the safety of minors in an unregulated atmosphere that may see online abuse increase. The senators say that the CEO is trying to profit off the exploitation of minors in the metaverse.
The senators’ statement indicates that any strategy inviting minors into virtual space on the internet, rife with potential harm and dangers, should not be done to profit. The senators add that Meta has lost the public’s trust, and this new attempt at underage manipulation for profit is just another piece to the whole picture.
In Other Meta Metaverse News
In other metaverse news from Meta, the Meta Quest Pro and Meta Quest 2 are slated for big discounts in 2023, with the company promising its customers that this will happen shortly. The Meta Quest Pro was released in October 2022 and has seen its price fall already.
These developments show the CEO is ready to do what it takes to get people on board and succeed. The gear has had headwinds trying to win over gamers, and last year’s action to require a Facebook account to use the gear could have gone better with gamers. UploadVR says that the price cuts will range from $430 to $500 and should take effect between March 5 and March 7. The price change is said to be permanent, but many sources are skeptical of its validity.
Meta’s Q4 shares saw a sharp decline, and the biggest loser in the company was its metaverse division, which the CEO is backing to grow. The pricing of the gear has mainly hindered the ability to attract customers to the platform; however, the company will revise its strategy as they move forward to make them more accessible, according to the CEO.
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