Meta’s VR social network Horizon Worlds – the company’s flagship metaverse app – suffers from too many quality issues, and even team building doesn’t make much use of it. The Verge.
Vishal Shah, Meta’s vice president of Metaverse, told employees in a September 15 memo that the team would remain on a “quality lockout” for the rest of the year “to ensure that we address quality gaps and performance issues before we address them.” Open Horizon to more users.”
“Simply put, for an experience to be enjoyable and memorable, it must first be usable and well-designed.”
“Since launching late last year, we’ve found that the core thesis of Horizon Worlds — a synchronous social network where creators can build compelling worlds — is strong,” Shah said in a memo last month. “However, the feedback right now from our creators, users, players, and many of us on the team is that the combined weight of paper cuts, stability issues, and bugs is making it very difficult for our community to experience the magic of Horizon. Simply put, for an experience to be enjoyable and memorable, it must first be usable and well-designed.”
While the meta teases its work on more lifelike avatars, the current quality of Horizon’s graphics pales in comparison to some of its non-VR competitors, such as Fortnite. Zuckerberg himself was recently memeified After posting a screenshot of the Horizon avatar to celebrate the launch of Horizon for Quest users in France and Spain. He quickly posted a follow-up image of a more advanced avatar, saying the company will share “major updates to Horizon and avatar graphics” at its annual Connect conference, scheduled for October 11.
“Why don’t we love the product we built so much that we use it all the time?”
According to Shah’s internal notes, the main problem with Horizon’s development so far is that the people who built it within Meta don’t seem to be using it that much. “For many of us, we don’t spend that much time on Horizon, and our test panels show that pretty clearly,” he wrote to staff on Sept. 15. “Why is that? Why don’t we love the product we use all the time? The simple truth is, if we don’t love it, how can we expect our users to love it?”
In a follow-up memo dated Sept. 30, Shah said employees still weren’t using Horizon enough, and that a plan was in place to “hold managers accountable” to have their teams use Horizon at least once a week. “Everyone in this organization must be on a mission to fall in love with Horizon Worlds. You can’t do it without using it. Get in there. Organize times to do this with colleagues or friends, both internally and socially, so you can connect with our community.”
Addressing specific issues with Horizon, he wrote that “our onboarding experience is confusing and frustrating for users” and that the team needs to “introduce new users to high-level worlds that will ensure their first visit is successful.”
Shah said the teams working on Horizon need to collaborate better together and expect more changes to come. “Today, we are not working with enough flexibility,” his memo reads. “I want to be clear on this issue. We are working on a product market mismatch. If you are a Horizon, you need to fully embrace uncertainty and change.”
He said Horizon’s staff will be targeting less for increased users in VR, and that a future 2D version of Horizon for the web will likely not have a user target, but instead a “high quality bar.”
in a statement shared with The Verge, Meta spokeswoman Ashley Zandy said the company is “convinced that the metaverse is the future of computing and should be built around people.” He said the company is “always improving quality and acting on feedback from the creative community. This is a multi-year journey and we will continue to improve what we have built.”