Reality Labs, Meta’s division for AR, VR and the metaverse, just existed the best quarter despite still continuing a multibillion-dollar losing streak. Reality Labs is set to generate more than $1 billion in revenue in the last quarter of 2023 thanks to Quest headsets and Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses.
Although crossing $1 billion in revenue is a new milestone for the company’s metaverse group, it is still expected to continue to rack up huge losses for the foreseeable future. Reality Labs lost $4.6 billion in the quarter and more than $16 billion in 2023. Susan Lee, Meta’s CFO, said those losses are “expected to increase significantly year over year due to our ongoing product development efforts in augmented reality/virtual reality. our investments to further expand our ecosystem.”
The fourth quarter, which includes the holiday shopping season, is usually when reality does its best. During a call with analysts, Mark Zuckerberg suggested that the company’s smart glasses are doing particularly well, saying that Ray-Ban maker EssilorLuxottica “plans to make more. [smart glasses] more than we both expected due to high demand. It added that the Quest 2 and Quest 3 “performed well” and called the Quest 3 “the most popular mixed reality device.”
Reality Labs aside, Meta had a strong quarter, reporting $40.1 billion to end 2023, bringing its total revenue to just under $135 billion for the year. Facebook’s user base also grew to 2.1 billion daily active users (DAU). Meta CFO Susan Lee said the company is “transitioning” from sharing the metric and will no longer report Facebook’s daily or monthly active users or “family monthly active people.”
The company shared that it will eventually stop reporting back user numbers in 2019 as Facebook’s growth began to slow. But the change shows how Facebook’s position in the company’s “family of apps” has changed in recent years. A report Pew Research found earlier this week that Instagram continues to grow in the US, while Facebook usage remains flat.
However, Meta’s newest app, Threads, is still growing. Zuckerberg said that the service has 130 million users, although the number of monthly users is less than 100 million. last fall. “More people are actively using Threads now than there were during the peak period of its original release,” Zuckerberg said, referring to the app’s initial but short-term growth spurt.
Zuckerberg also spoke more about his new expression ambition Building artificial general intelligence, or AGI, at Meta will be a “topic” of the company’s future product work, he said. “This next generation of services requires building a complete general intelligence,” he said. “Obviously, we’ll need to think, plan, code, remember, and many other cognitive abilities to provide our models with the best versions of the services we envision.”
The Meta CEO also stated that the company will not be offering any apps alternative app stores After Apple in Europe controversial new developer policies. “If any developers chose alternative app stores, I’d be very surprised how they implemented it,” he said. “They’ve made it so difficult, and I think it’s so at odds with the purpose of the EU regulation, that I think it’s going to be very difficult for anyone, including ourselves, to really have serious fun.”