Mark Zuckerberg envisions a billion people in the Metaverse region

ID pads CEO Mark Zuckerberg told CNBC’s Jim Cramer on Wednesday that the metaverse could be a huge part of the social network operator’s business in the second half of the decade.

“We hope to basically reach out to about a billion people in the metaverse doing hundreds of dollars of commerce, each of them buying digital goods, digital content, or different things to express themselves, so whether it’s clothes for their avatar or different digital goods for their virtual home or things to decorate their virtual meeting room, and facilities to be more productive in virtual and augmented reality and across the metaverse in general,”

Investors have cut the company’s market value in half this year growth slowed The number of daily active users has fallen sequentially for the first time between the past two quarters. Zuckerberg has been increasingly directing the company toward what he sees as the next generation of content, a virtual world where people can buy and sell digital clothing and other goods for avatars who can communicate with each other. The company’s barcode changed from FB, a relic of its history as a pure social media provider, to META earlier this month.

But the company’s investment in augmented and virtual reality dates back to 2014, when it paid $2 billion to maker of the Oculus VR headset. Headphones shipments for her Failed to exceed the number shipments of computers or smartphones. Zuckerberg is optimistic about the performance of the current generation Meta Quest 2, which starts at $299.

“Quest 2 was a huge success,” Zuckerberg told the “Mad Money” host.

“I was really happy with the way it turned out. It exceeded my expectations. But I still think it will take some time for it to reach the scale of several hundreds of millions or even billions of people in the metaverse, just because things take a while to get there. So this is it The North Star. I think we’ll get there. But, you know, the other services we run are currently on a somewhat larger scale.”

Zuckerberg said experiences in the Meta can be more immersive than text, photos or videos, which circulate on the Meta’s Facebook and Instagram, and so will be a big topic for Meta over the next decade.

Zuckerberg met Kramer at Metaverse. The Facebook co-founder said such experiences can enhance the feeling of being together, even if people are physically on the other side of the country. He said it’s possible to make eye contact, which is not guaranteed in video calls, and to use spatial audio that allows quiet side conversations.

The technology, he said, “adds a foundation to make it offer that realistic sense of being”.

Achieving this for customers over the next several years will require Meta to release a combination of hardware, software, and expertise.

“We’re at this point, you know, a company that can make some big, long-term research investments, and that’s a huge focus,” he said.

He said he expects the economy around the metaverse to be enormous.

Meta Platforms had 3.64 billion monthly active people across its suite of apps in First Quarter6% year-over-year increase. WhatsApp reached 2 billion users in 2020, which is also an area where Zuckerberg sees growth potential.

“You know, our operating guide over time has been building services, trying to serve as many people as possible — you know, you can get our services to one billion two billion three billion people, and then we basically scale the monetization after that,” Zuckerberg said. . “And we’ve done that with Facebook and Instagram. WhatsApp is really going to be the next chapter, where business messaging and commerce are going to be an important thing there.”

AI makes recommendations, similar to TikTok

In addition to reverse spending, Meta is investing heavily in the development of artificial intelligence, which can enhance advertising — the source of about 97% of revenue — and the company’s existing applications, Zuckerberg said.

“We’re basically going from having most of the content you see on Facebook and Instagram comes from your friend or tracking graph, to now, you know, over time, getting more and more of that content just coming from AI recommendations,” Zuckerberg said. “And as AI recommendations improve, you can access, you know, not just content from the people you follow but the entire world of content out there.”

It’s a concept that TikTok, which is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance, is using to push itself into it 1 billion monthly active users. Meta has sought to respond to the rapid growth by introducing files Instagram reels feature In 2020. Reels make up more than a fifth of the time people spend on Instagram, Zuckerberg told analysts on Meta’s first-quarter earnings call in April. He now expects AI improvements to make Reels more convincing to Instagram users.

“Our AI system can make a choice based on what it knows about you, what you will be personally interested in, and what you want to see,” he said. “When we get better at that, you know, our engineers ship improvements to the models every week. We check something, you know, the fit increases a little bit. Then we repeat that and do it the next week. And, you know, that’s just a big part of what I focused on. Always in the management of this company, is to make the speed very fast, so we can continue to make rapid improvements to this.”

CNBC’s Jonathan Fanian contributed to this report.

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