Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg Still 'Long-Term Optimistic' on Metaverse

Meta (META) CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he was still optimistic about the metaverse on a longer, “five-to-ten-year horizon” at the New York Times Dealbook Summit in New York City on Wednesday.

"The way we communicate gets richer and more immersive,” Zuckerberg said via a virtual interview, doubling down on his company’s bet on a virtual and augmented reality-dominated future. The company has come under criticism for generating billions of dollars of losses as it builds out its version of the metaverse.

However, Zuckerberg admitted that Meta would need to operate with “more efficiency and discipline” in the near term as macroeconomic woes have forced the company to scale back on spending.

Zuckerberg said Meta spends 80% of its time focused on its legacy social media suite of apps, which include Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp and others. The resitt of the time is spent on developing hardware and software related to the metaverse.

Meta’s Reality Labs focuses on research and development of its metaverse-related projects, which includes three broad buckets: virtual reality, augmented reality and social platforms.

The billionaire CEO said he's unfazed by critics of his company’s bet on the metaverse, saying a lack of pushback typically means an idea is not ambitious enough. “Skepticism doesn’t bother me too much,” Zuckerberg said. “We’ve had doubters the whole time.”