Jul 27, 2023

Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook parent Meta, says the firm isn't giving up on the metaverse anytime soon.

Video transcript

Facebook parent company meta reported its latest quarterly earnings results last night and it's Reality labs unit which is focused on developing the Metaverse brought in $276 million in sales during the second quarter while posting a loss of $3.7 billion. Joining us. Now to discuss is Chief Mese Officer at Journey Kay Hackle. Good morning, Kay. Good morning. All right, let's talk about this earnings call meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said investments in A I will continue surprise, surprise and he remains fully committed to the metaverse vision. Uh What do you think of the approach so far? What did you make of some of the comments on the call? Well, it was an interesting call. It feels like the year of, of efficiency is turning into the year of the comeback for me. I mean, shareholders, I think it was a very positive outlook. Uh, shareholders, I think are pretty excited about that. Um, during the call, he definitely talked a lot about A I it felt like almost every fifth word was artificial intelligence like we've seen in a lot of the earnings calls. Um But yeah, he definitely talked about how A I, the investments they've made in A I are proving to be very successful and leading to growth for the company. And they're gonna continue to invest in A I uh which is gonna lead to capital expenses related to capacity A I workloads. Uh and also trying to hire more uh more staff, more technical staff uh for A I which obviously is coming at a premium right now. It's interesting, we talk about hiring more staff for A I. When um recently we learned that meta let go of a lot of staff in their Metaverse division, we heard about uh billions of dollars lost on the Metaverse play. But Zuckerberg seems still still long term bullish on the metaverse. Talk to me about what we learned uh on that front. Yes, it was really interesting listening to his comments during the call about reality labs there, the reality of reality labs is that they intend to keep going. Uh The losses will continue year after year. They said that very clear on the call uh because they do see this as the future. Uh He talked about it being a long term bet. Uh He mentioned, for example, that it is an interesting thing that he said, he said about 1 to 2 billion people around the world where glasses and in the future, those will be smart glasses. So I think he's really thinking about what the future holds for the company uh He talked as well about the computing being, you know, creating the next computing platform, being influential in that, in, in expanding the ecosystem. So reality labs is not going anywhere, even if shareholders are not convinced, uh it's gonna stay around. Um they're gonna continue this long term. Uh He even mentioned that maybe for some of the shareholders and investors, the long term view and the long term bet that he's making might not make a lot of sense or, or, or something. But that, that is where he sees the future going uh towards more immersive experiences. So reality reality labs, even though it's at a loss will continue to be, there will continue to be a focus for the company when it comes to creating uh virtual reality, augmented reality and, and other uh and other products. It's interesting, he brought up uh the fact that lots of people wear glasses. We may be using that to access the metaverse. We of course saw meta's uh very clunky headset compare that to what Apple launched just a few months ago. It seems like Facebook might have some competition. Do you see the two, the two firms um kind of competing for the in the hardware sector of the metaverse? I definitely see them competing in the future. He brought up a a Apple a few times during the call and not necessarily a positive light. So that was interesting. Um I think, you know, II I really think in September when you have meta connect their big developers conference, uh they're gonna be uh you know, launching the Meta quest uh Meta quest three. And I think we might be shown some of the things that they're doing around smart glasses. Um So, yeah, I think that there is going to be competition between meta and between Apple when it comes to those smart glasses. Uh you know, whether meta decides to use the term spatial computing like Apple did I, I'm still remains to be seen, but I think we're gonna see a lot in September of what they the reality labs behind the scenes has been working at on. So we'll see, we'll see it. It's exciting. Definitely, we mentioned some of the components of reality labs with Vrar metaverse social neural interfaces. Uh What excites you the most in your opinion, what's, what's the front runner here? Well, obviously they're leading with virtual reality and while I've been in VR for a long time and it's exciting, I definitely see more the augmented reality side continuing to be a main focus. And one of the most interesting things, uh I'm personally really interested in neural interfaces and how we engage with these devices. This, you know what I call the post smartphone future, something out that will replace the smartphone, whatever hardware that is, we're probably gonna have to engage with it and very interesting ways. Uh So the neural interfaces whether it is through brain computer interfaces that are external, or whether it's reading intent through, you know, through our uh our arms or what have you. I think that that's gonna be a really interesting place to look at, especially when you see, you know, Apple is doing great things there. Um You know, meta is obviously very focused on that as well in the future with control labs and acquisition they did. And then you've got also snap which acquired next mind, which is a brain computer interface company as well. So I think we'll see really interesting things there. I, what I tell you, I am really excited about and I think not a lot of people are talking about is the open beta for Roblox on the meta quest. Um Roblox has millions and millions of users. And if you bring that into VR, that could be really, really positive for meta and VR as we head into the future. All right, let's change gears here. We got to talk about threads. Twitter's new rival made its debut caused the big splash saw millions of users in just a matter of days. What do you think the future for threads looks like because it feels like everyone signed up for threads and then, and then we lost all that Steve. I mean, I know I have an account and I have not used it past day one. Yeah, I signed up on day one. Same thing I'm still using it. And, you know, sometimes I'm not as active as I was the first week. Um But they were very positive uh during the call about threads about being really in some way surprised by how positive this launch went, it was created by a very small team. So once again, focus on efficiency. And I think that that's kind of the way forward for meta is smaller teams creating uh you know, products or making products better. Uh So definitely leaning into efficiency. And I think one thing he said during the call that to me was really interesting was that threads as a product, they're not really focused on Moet just yet or as the main focus. Um until he said something around until hundreds of millions of people are using threads, that's gonna be the, the focus. So right now, I think they're just focusing on the product, uh adding more utility, more things that you can do within threads because right now it's pretty basic. Uh There's some basic, you know, functionalities, but there's a lot of things. Uh I don't think he's gonna take, you know, the, the foot off the pedal when it comes to threads because it's been such a successful launch for the company. Uh And it's definitely been a very positive thing uh for meta. So we'll see, we'll see, you know, competition with X, former Twitter or whatever they're called now. Uh We'll be interesting to see how that comes out at the end X is still available via Twitter dot com. So I will continue calling it Twitter. Um Do you think threads has staying power? I, I think if they add more functionalities to it and maybe, you know, II I think it does. I think right now, I don't think it's gonna go away. I think they need to give users a reason to continue going to it and I think they're working on that, right? Because it was such a basic functionality. Um So yeah, I am hopeful. I think that hopefully they'll add audio and you know, some other things. Um you know, the power of threats, it is that it, it is connected to Instagram and there's so many users on Instagram. So um you know, I'm II I it remains to be seen but you know, I still use it. I don't use it as often. I, I do know some people that are becoming power users so we'll, we'll have to see. But um I think they were very positive about threads on the call. All right, Kay, we are going to leave it there. Thanks so much for joining this morning. Thank you. That was Chief Metaverse Officer at Journey Kathy Hackle.

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