Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg is betting on ‘work in the metaverse’

Shares of Meta (META) fell this week after its disappointing third-quarter earnings report and as the company’s headquarters in the metaverse drew negative reviews.

In the years since Facebook became Meta, the company has invested billions in its metaverse strategy. The investment will not pay. For one, the division responsible for the company’s innovation efforts, Reality Labs, is losing money, closing in on a loss of $3.7 billion last quarter alone.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg told analysts this week that he expects those losses to continue every year. Still, as the company’s shares have suffered, Zuckerberg has begun this month to turn the unexpected into a big opportunity. He says that the future of work may depend on the metaverse and through the company’s latest virtual reality headquarters, Meta Quest Pro.

“Operation in the metaverse is a big topic for Quest Pro,” Zuckerberg told analysts on the company’s earnings call on Wednesday. “There are 200 million people who get new PCs every year, mostly for work. Our goal for the Quest Pro line over the next few years is to enable many of these people to do their jobs. in reality and virtual. it’s better than they can on PC.”

This month at Meta Connect, the company announced its new partnership with enterprise technology giant Microsoft (MSFT) and professional services giant Accenture (ACN). It’s an amazing part. After all, thinking about Meta still evokes Facebook profile pictures or, perhaps, VR headsets that we often use in games.

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However, Needham Senior Analyst Laura Martin said there is much more to the future of the job movement that makes sense. In going into the future of work, organizations, “increasing the market they can respond to twice,” Martin told Yahoo Finance. He added that the company’s new emphasis on mixed reality is also a “smart pivot” linked to Microsoft’s newly launched partnership with Accenture.

He said, “My heart is that the point of mixed reality is being told because Microsoft and Accenture, who believe it will be successful,” he said.

Image of Team Microsoft in VR, courtesy of Meta Connect.

Image of Team Microsoft in VR, courtesy of Meta Connect.

In fact, there is a first thing there for discussion-metaverse work. For example, Autodesk (ADSK) this year acquired The Wild, an XR series built specifically for home builders and construction professionals. There is also a startup world that includes companies like Virbela, which brings VR specifically to professional and educational environments.

Where the experts are speculating, there’s a chance Meta is going ahead with anything – scary. Adam Voss and Josh Rush, co-founders of the VR platform Surreal, believe that all companies will eventually have some kind of presence in the metaverse, but that not all careers or disciplines will be suitable for the world 3- The D.

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“We believe every company will eventually have a metaverse website,” Rush said. “The website will be a social, three-dimensional channel where you can, say, do an engagement event or their company is almost… a hands-on experience.”

Human resources can be one example of a profession that can lend itself to the metaverse “from a brand perspective, as you’re hiring for top talent,” Voss said.

It’s likely that Voss and Rush are right, and tools in the metaverse will expand, according to Forrester Vice President and Principal Analyst JP Gownder. It’s unclear when that will happen — or if it will come in time for Meta to reap its benefits, he said.

“Metaverse for business will eventually become really important, but will it be two years? 10 years? That will be a challenge,” said Gownder.

Image of Meta Quest Pro, and Meta Connect.

Image of Meta Quest Pro, and Meta Connect.

Going through the recession, the industry that works—the metaverse push—has other problems. The news that Meta users are not interested in using the company’s VR products should give us pause, Oscar Mattsson, founder and CEO of startup Allwhere, which provides tools, equipment, and technology-based services for company employees.

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“The future of work is for people to have a say in how and where they want to work best,” said Mattsson, a former WeWork employee. “For me, I think the future of work is to focus on improving the reality we live in now, rather than creating something spectacular.”

And he’s not sold on the Meta theme as a key element for the future work environment in the long run – and not in the near term.

Soon, VR in the workplace in general is not possible, said Adam Riggs, former CEO of Shutterstock (SSTK) and now CEO of the online workspace platform Frameable Spaces.

“Right now, depending on what’s happening now or in the near future, VR is not a serious, inclusive, or sustainable way to improve the performance of remote or hybrid teams,” he said. said. “Except that this is a special training tool, but for general office applications VR is not the way to get the best results.”

Mattsson said, perhaps, one thing we can all agree on: “Legless torsos are not the future of work.”

Allie Garfinkle is a Tech Reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter at @agarfinks.

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