Sad Numbers for Facebook’s Horizon Worlds

Jeff Horwitz, Salvador Rodriguez, and Meghan Bobrowsky, reporting for The Wall Street Journal (News+ link):

Meta initially set a goal of reaching 500,000 monthly active users for Horizon Worlds by the end of this year, but in recent weeks revised that figure to 280,000. The current tally is less than 200,000, the documents show. Most visitors to Horizon generally don’t return to the app after the first month, and the user base has steadily declined since the spring, according to the documents, which include internal memos from employees.

By comparison, Meta’s social-media products, including Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, together attract more than 3.5 billion average monthly users — a figure equivalent to almost half the world’s population. Horizon is currently reaching less than the population of Sioux Falls, S.D.

Horizon is designed to be a sprawling collection of interactive virtual spaces, or worlds, in which users appearing as avatars can shop, party and work. Yet there are rarely any girls in the Hot Girl Summer Rooftop Pool Party, and in Murder Village there is often no one to kill.

No girls at the Hot Girl Summer Rooftop Pool Party, and no one to murder in Murder Village — that really says it all.

Related: the avatars-with-legs demo Zuckerberg presented last week was fake. I’d say I’m kicking them while they’re down, but kicking requires real legs.

Saturday, 15 October 2022