Meta continues to burn through cash for its flailing metaverse and VR project, which lost $3.7 billion in the 3rd quarter – DIGIWIZ CENTRAL

Meta continues to burn through cash for its flailing metaverse and VR project, which lost $3.7 billion in the 3rd quarter

Mark Zuckerberg’s avatar at a Meta connect event.

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Meta’s Reality Labs division lost $3.7 billion in the third quarter. Meta’s recent earnings, posted Wednesday, shows its VR and metaverse push is still bleeding money. Meta said Reality Labs’ revenue was down 26% this quarter, but it’s still a “major long-term focus.”

Mark Zuckerberg’s big metaverse gamble is still not paying off. 

Meta posted its third-quarter earnings report on Wednesday, which showed that Reality Labs lost $3.7 billion, the same amount as the previous quarter. 

Reality Labs is responsible for Meta’s VR and metaverse push. It remains hugely unprofitable. Despite draining the company of $11.5 billion this year alone, Zuckerberg is still throwing money at its mixed-reality bet.

Meta CFO Susan Li said in the earnings call with investors Wednesday that it sold fewer Quest 2 VR headsets in the third quarter as revenue for Reality Labs was down 26% to $210 million. 

Meta expects its Reality Labs operating losses to “increase meaningfully” going forward, the company said in the report. 

Zuckerberg also told investors that, aside from AI, the metaverse is its other “major long-term focus.” In the call with investors, Meta’s CEO and CFO mentioned AI a total of 47 times and said the word “metaverse” only three times. 

It seems that Zuckerberg is exercising patience in seeing whether Reality Labs can reach profitability. He said in a shareholder meeting last year that it would lose a “significant amount” of cash over three to five years. He doesn’t seem to be overly confident the company will be rewarded for its risk as the CEO said in the second-quarter earnings call in July: “I can’t guarantee you that I’m gonna be right about this bet.” 

In spite of its long-drawn investment in the metaverse, the company laid off some employees that worked in the Reality Labs division earlier this month, Reuters reported.

Staff were told in a post on its internal group, Workplace, that they would be notified on October 4 if they’d been laid off, per Reuters, which cited two people who had knowledge of the plans. It did not say how many people in the division were impacted by the layoffs.  

In February, Meta’s CFO said Reality Labs would also be included in its “year of efficiency” plans to improve its financial performance. An announcement followed in March that it was cutting 10,000 jobs. The company also cut back on the health and wellness benefits it offered employees, from $3,000 in 2022 to $2,000 this year, Insider previously reported.

Meta didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment, made outside of normal working hours. 

Read the original article on Business Insider
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