Since Mark Zuckerberg renamed Facebook to Meta and officially pivoted the company toward the metaverse in October 2021, selling consumers on his vision of “the next frontier in connecting people” has been an uphill battle that cost $15.9B last year alone.
Now, Zuckerberg’s team is hoping 2023 will be a year of strong growth for Meta’s flagship metaverse platform, Horizon Worlds, per The Wall Street Journal — in part by shifting its focus toward the next frontier of humanity: kids.
What’s Meta’s goal for the year?
Among Horizon’s early challenges has been retaining users. Across the industry, between the spring and fall of 2022, the percentage of US teens using a VR headset dropped from 17% to 14%.
In January, Horizon’s weekly retention rate was 11%, and the company hopes to bring that to 20%, per WSJ.
According to an internal memo, one way Meta plans to address this is by opening Horizon to 13- to 17-year-olds as soon as March.
- The 13- to 17-year-old segment is among the most engaged on Roblox, and 46% of Roblox’s 58.8m users were under 13 as of Q3 last year.
- Globally, kids spent, on average, 107 and 67 minutes on TikTok and YouTube, respectively, every day of 2022.
Meta hopes to reach 500k monthly active Horizon Worlds users in the first half of 2023, and 1m by year-end. That’s up from ~200k today.
How will Meta do this?
The company now plans to work with outside studios to launch 20+ new Horizon experiences with the hope that at least one will be a major hit.
Meta also plans to launch a 2D version of Horizon for desktop and mobile.
For now, VR comedy is just going to have to keep holding down the fort.