Timestamp: RIP Metaverse

October 25, 2022

Putting this here to note that this is the week where it feels the energy has shifted to claiming that the Metaverse, probably more specifically, Meta's version of the Metaverse, isn't going to work.

At Meta's recent conference they announced that Avatar's in Horizon Worlds will have legs. And everyone lost their shit. Meme's galore.

Today, one of the funds holding a lot of Meta stock, published an open letter to Zuck and the board asking them to chill out on all the Metaverse stuff and invest in other things.

I don't have a horse in the race, but with stock down 55% and Zuck apparently committing to $10bn a year on this work, it's going to be a wild ride to see where it goes.

The John Carmack and Lex interview covers in a lot of detail the technical challenges they see that are in the way of achieving...idk something that feels like real life? Or very close to it. The times lines are also in decades. We will get something great in ~10 years? It's a big bet, but it's clear that Carmack and Zuck both think that this will happen and it will be where people spend a lot of their time in the future.

A counter point to all the haters is that there are already lots (how many?) of people spending lots (all their waking time when they're not sleeping or working?) in Horizon Worlds. It's all covered in this article in the NYT by Kashmir Hill. This passage below resonates with me. How many people around the world are in this position? Many more than we would find comfortable I think.

Maybe the initial 'killer use case' for VR is countering loneliness. In some ways, that has always been a primary use case. I remember being 14 and talking to strangers in the US using Napsters chat feature at a time when I didn't have heaps of people to talk to. It was great!

The cliche is probably that "nothing will ever beat hanging out with friend IRL!", and I think that is true. But for all the times you cannot do that, maybe Meta will build something that we need.