Meta plans to lead the metaverse movement. But can it succeed?

A 10-fold increase in Horizon Worlds (stock? investment? market cap?) suggests it might.
Ameya Paleja
The metaverse could be here sooner than you thinkBlackSalmon/ iStock

With the who's who of the retail, fashion, banking, and gaming industries interested in being a part of the metaverse, everybody is keenly watching the space to identify the leader of the metaverse builder's pack. Is Meta on its way to becoming the one? Analysts think so

Mark Zuckerberg took the world by surprise when he announced that the company he built his riches on was embarking on a new journey to herald a new age in the history of the internet. Facebook's brand change to Meta didn't seem a big deal at first but the domino effect of Zuckerberg's announcement brought into the open other companies' plans of being part of the metaverse. 

What is Meta's Horizon Worlds?  

Late last year, Meta announced it had opened its Horizon Worlds to customers in the U.S. and Canada. And just last month it proudly announced that more than 10,000 worlds had been created in this new digital world. 

In Zuckerberg's vision of the metaverse, we will work, hangout, and play in such digital worlds in the near future. The company has over 20,000 members in a creators' group on Facebook and splurged billions on this exercise in the last quarter of 2021 alone.

According to a report in The Verge, the company has seen a 10x growth in its monthly userbase of Horizon Worlds as numbers hit the 300,000 mark recently. The company is definitely making gains in its Quest (pun intended). 

Is Meta the one?

Analysts believe that Meta clearly has the first-mover advantage in this space. With deep pockets, the company can not only afford to spend on building multiple versions of its metaverses but also has the ability to draw attention to what it is doing and lead the conversation in a direction it seeks. 

Earlier this year, we reported that real estate in the metaverse, which was very much a thing before Facebook's pivot, made meteoric rises in valuations partly because of the Meta move. 

Meta's gains may appear dwarfed compared to the million monthly users of Minecraft or Roblox but there lies the difference. Horizon Worlds or any other metaverse that Meta is building isn't just for gaming, it is aimed to be part of your daily life. Just like WhatsApp became an integral part of work, Meta wants its digital world to have the same effect.

As The Verge reported, Meta's metaverse won't just be accessible through virtual reality headsets but will soon be available through smartphones, too. By removing the barriers for entry, the metaverse can be rapidly scaled and Meta has the tools (Facebook and Instagram) to bring about this explosive growth when it is ready. 

Can Rec Room or even Microsoft make the same claim? 

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