No company has thrown itself behind the Metaverse quite like Meta. In fact, Facebook went through a whole rebranding to become Meta to signal its focus for the future. The company is also actively seeking the best talent – including from other companies – to help achieve its metaverse goals. However, it seems engagement amongst employees around Horizon Worlds is not what Meta wants it to be.
Horizon Worlds is essentially Meta's digital world game, its version of the metaverse. Despite plenty of talk, a lot of money, and a willingness to throw itself completely into the project, it is unclear how Meta's solution differs from other digital world concepts.
Memos obtained by The Verge show employee engagement in the project. In a memo from September 15, Meta's VP Metaverse Vishal Shah is trying to stir more interest amongst engineers and other staff.
It seems feedback from creators and gameplay testers for the project has not been positive. There are bugs and employees in the company are not engaging with the project. Shah suggests employees must fall in love with the project for it to succeed.
“For many of us, we don't spend that much time in Horizon and our dogfooding dashboards show this pretty clearly. 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?”
By September 30 the situation did not seem resolved as another memo from Shah claimed metrics were not improving. He says Meta is creating plans to “hold managers accountable” and force their teams into using Horizon Worlds every week (seemingly, even in their downtime). Again, he makes it clear employees must love the project:
“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.”
Speaking to The Verge, a Meta spokesperson says the wording of the memo has been taken out of context:
“[Meta is] confident that the metaverse is the future of computing and that it should be built around people. [Meta is] always making quality improvements and acting on the feedback from our community of creators. This is a multiyear journey, and we're going to keep making what we build better.”
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