14.02.2023 Marketing Farvest Decrypt Meta VR

Meta’s Horizon Worlds to widen its range of users

Writer Samira Joineau
meta horizon worlds
© Meta

After revealing a turnover downwards (4%) for the year 2022, Facebook’s parent company Meta reviewed its strategy regarding its metaverse – Horizon Worlds. It is actually looking forward to finding a solution to populate its interactive social world; how? Drawing in a younger range of users.

While it opened Horizon Worlds back in December 2021, Meta had set the objective to pass the threshold of 500,000 monthly users on its social VR experience platform over the following year. This was a missed shot as, by the end of 2022, there were less than 200,000 users. Although the parent company succeeded its bet in attracting new companies towards the metaverse, it was less of a success for public people. 

How to explain this? Overall, an internal survey – carried out last year – revealed that Horizon Worlds’ users are easily weary, as they do not find a metaverse that appears appealing to them – only 9% of worlds were visited back then. This means that the vast majority of the worlds remains without any visitors. 

Regarding the experience itself, users complained about the immersion, and the avatars’ appearance – as they do not have legs and neither do they show any emotions. In other words, Horizon Worlds was strongly criticized for its lack of realism. This directly translated into the general visiting figures, as most visitors do not come back after their first month.

The idea now is hence to thrive in retaining Horizon Worlds’ users, as its retention level was only up to 11% last January. Horizon Worlds Vice-President envisions to increase this percentage up to 20%. Over the last few months, Meta has invested to improve the VR experience, notably with a new generation of Quest Pro VR headsets. 

Facebook’s parent company has furthermore established new partnerships with worldwide enterprises, such as Microsoft and the National Basket Association (NBA). The latter, entitled the “NBA Arena” in Horizon Worlds, for instance makes it possible to watch live games and shoot around with friends. Besides, Meta also plans on creating both mobile and web versions of its VR experience platform. They are to be available by the end of this semester. 

Considering these efforts, Meta comes up with a new strategy setting the objective to attract a younger audience aged from 13 to 17 on Horizon Worlds. This audience expansion will probably help the Big Tech company reach its revised ambition of retaining 500,000 users by the end of the first semester, and 1 million by the end of 2023.