Since Tuesday, August 16, 2022, the metaverse of the company Meta (formerly Facebook) has arrived in France under the name Horizon Worlds. This parallel universe offers professional meetings, games or even concerts accessible via a virtual reality headset. If the Web of the future is facing some difficulties, a recent study by McKinsey predicts a promising future.
It is in front of a virtual Eiffel Tower that Mark Zuckerberg’s avatar officially launched Horizon Worlds. This French version comes nine months after its initial release in the United States and Canada. Like a video game, users create their own worlds and activities, but can also visit those of others. However, users must first be equipped with a virtual reality headset sold by Meta (at a price of 450 euros). However, the group confided that it is currently working on the design of more affordable augmented reality glasses.
The goal of Zuckerberg’s metaverse remains to offer a space in which physical distance no longer limits opportunities and exchanges. However, this idyllic world is regularly confronted with difficulties. For example, users have raised issues of harassment and even sexual assault. The brand had to adapt by proposing a new optional configuration. This last one allows to keep a distance of almost one meter between the avatars in order to avoid any non-consensual interaction.
Particularly expensive, this web 3 of Facebook made the group lose 3 billion dollars in the first quarter of 2022. Nevertheless, the company remains confident and moreover wishes to develop economic opportunities while taking 47.5% on each virtual object transaction.
In February, Horizon Worlds counted more than 300,000 users per month. If the concept seems to be reserved for young people and appears to some as a simple fashion effect, a survey by the consulting firm McKinsey has disproved these prejudices. It also reveals that Americans plan to spend at least four hours a day in the metaverse!
First of all, contrary to popular belief, the majority of the representative sample questioned was able to describe the concept. Not surprisingly, gamers were the most knowledgeable! Most of the users are still under 16 years old, but the older ones are also aware of this decentralized and immersive Web. The study shows the growing interest of the population for the concept, but it remains to be seen if it will really impose itself in the long term. Frequent crashes and the cost of the equipment are indeed a major brake to its development. Cheaper hardware and an improved user experience may revolutionize the metaverse.
Meta’s ambition seems to be supported by the McKinsey survey which reveals a rather positive trajectory for the metaverse in the minds of Americans. In France, major brands are already betting on the success of Horizon Worlds in the Hexagon.
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