Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg lost more than half of his wealth in 2022. This loss stemmed from the company’s investments in metaverse projects. It could continue to lose more money in the next several years, according to Needham and Co. senior internet analyst Laura Martin.
His worth change is $71 billion, making him the billionaire with the most losses, putting his rank from the 6th richest man down to the 20th. Jeff Bezos ranked second in the worth change with $46 billion in losses, yet he only went down the rankings from 2nd to 3rd.
Meta may have big ambitions in creating a new reality for users, but its challenges could overwhelm what it can handle. Despite all the big-name collaborations, the metaverse may yet earn the acceptance of the general audience.
Not a Good Year So Far
Since Zuckerberg announced the company’s name change from Meta to Facebook in late 2021, the corporation has been steadily declining. According to analysts, Meta could not find a permanent place to stay to attract the right audience because its goals are too confusing for the general crowd.
In February 2022, when the company showed its statistics of barely any growth of monthly users on Facebook, it triggered one of the biggest stock price collapses. This negative impact brought down Mark Zuckerberg’s fortune to $31 billion, making it one of the most significant declines within 24 hours.
Not only did the confusion and disinterest of people contribute to the constant downhill, but the economic crash also influenced Meta’s value to go down. Furthermore, the rise of TikTok intervened with the number of daily users and organic digits, with most of them being the zoomer audience full of teenagers and young adults.
While it was somewhat of a success, Reels are worth less in the advertising revenue. Additionally, Meta’s marketing team spent lesser on promoting the platform due to the pressure of the economic meltdown.
Plenty Still Unconvinced by Metaverse
With all the talks of the metaverse being “the future” of society, people naturally wanted to catch a glimpse of a futuristic platform similar to popular Hollywood sci-fi movies. Unfortunately, they saw bland and soulless after Mark Zuckerberg revealed the VR sandbox game Horizon Worlds.
He presented the game as his avatar, explaining what users can do in the game. He claimed they could be whoever they wanted to be, wherever they wanted to go. As it turns out, the game looked like it came straight from an early access social game from 2005.
To many, the idea of having everyone in the virtual world was already done. Games like Second Life and VRChat let people pick their avatars and interact with digital worlds. Blockchain games like The Sandbox and Decentraland want to redefine social games, but many are still divisive when discussing NFTs and owning blockchain items.
Meta could need persuading leverage to ensure the company is still the pioneer in connecting people worldwide. Experts suggest that Zuckerberg should improve on Horizon Worlds and simplify what it means to be in a metaverse if he wants the audience to embrace his new ideas and releases.