This is not the first time Spiegel has criticized the metaverse.
Founder and chief executive officer of Snap Inc. Evan Spiegel, speaking at the WSJ Live conference in Laguna Beach, California, has criticized the metaverse arguing that most people prefer augmented reality over virtual reality.
According to Spiegel AR lets people harness computing power without forcing them to rely on a single screen, and unlike a VR headset, AR glasses combined with phones offer a “more immersive” experience. Metaverse is ‘living inside of a computer,’ said Spiegel, who remarks it as the last thing he would do when he gets home from a long day at work.
At the same event, Apple’s marketing chief Greg Joswiak also said that the metaverse is “a word I’ll never use.” Apple is working to enter the competitive AR/VR space and will likely announce its own combined AR and VR headset early next year. The high-end product is expected to be priced at around $2,000, according to a report.
Talking about AR and VR, augmented reality augments or supplements one’s surroundings by adding digital elements to a live view, while virtual reality is a completely immersive environment that replaces a real-life environment with a simulated one.
Last year Facebook rebranded itself as Meta, underlining its commitment to bringing the virtual and real world together in the form of a metaverse. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg at the time introduced the metaverse as a digital world over our own and said that he believes it to be a successor of the mobile internet. Metaverse combines both virtual and augmented reality alongside mixed reality, blockchain, web3, cryptocurrencies, social media, and much more.
Snap’s Speigel in April remarked Facebook’s metaverse ambitions as “ambiguous and hypothetical.” Spiegel announced a series of new AR features for phones and Snap’s experimental AR Spectacles over the next year.
Meanwhile, last week, Snap reported a weaker-than-expected revenue growth of $1.13 billion compared to the $1.14 billion anticipated in the third quarter, after which its shares plummeted more than 25%. The company’s on-year revenue grew 6% this quarter. However, the figure does not compare favorably to previous periods of double-digit growth and it is the first time since its public debut in 2017 that the American social media giant’s revenue dipped into single digits.
Further, Snap’s net loss accelerated to $360 million, including $155 million in “restructuring charges.” According to reports, these charges include severance and related costs paid to employees who were laid off earlier this year. In August, the company announced to let go of 20% of its employees amid mounting fears of a global economic slowdown.