Meta posted its financial results for Q4 2021, and the data shows that its metaverse division Reality Labs racked up $10 billion in losses in 2021. The company is still strongly focused on the metaverse, and executives expect losses to grow in 2022.
Meta has published the financial results for the fourth quarter of 2021, reporting a huge loss of $10 billion from its metaverse business in the year. The report contained several interesting insights into the company’s performance in 2021, which was a controversial year, even by its standards.
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The metaverse unit of the company, called Reality Labs, reported growing losses of $10 billion and includes its hardware division which builds the Oculus Quest VR headset. The net loss has been increasing over the years, with 2021 seeing $2.27 billion in revenue. Zuckerberg and CFO David Wehner expect the figure to increase this year.
The company expects growth to be negatively affected going forward, marking three factors as key contributors. The first such factor it puts down is the changes to the Apple iOS, though it “anticipates modestly increasing ad targeting and measurement headwinds from platform and regulatory changes.” The second factor relates to cost inflation and supply chain difficulties which affect platform advertisers, and the last is currency exchange rates.
Meta founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that the company would continue to invest in these domains, saying,
“We had a solid quarter as people turned to our products to stay connected and businesses continued to use our services to grow. I’m encouraged by the progress we made this past year in a number of important growth areas like Reels, commerce, and virtual reality, and we’ll continue investing in these and other key priorities in 2022 as we work towards building the metaverse.”
The staggering amount of resources being poured into the metaverse by Meta has no comparison in the space, even though major companies like Microsoft and Disney have also shown interest. Meta sees it as their biggest objective in the future and is willing to work on it for a decade if need be, going by statements from executives.
Meta clearly sees the digital universe as the future for media consumption and engagement and is willing to do whatever it takes to have a top market position. It still remains to be seen whether it can achieve this, given that the likes of Microsoft and Disney already have a lot of popular existing IP to work with.
The company has moved away from its stablecoin project Diem, which ended up a failure and was sold to Silvergate. It also recently joined the Crypto Open Patent Alliance to support open-source tech.
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