Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks at the Facebook Connect virtual event, where the company announced its rebranding as Meta, in New York City on October 28, 2021.
Michael Nagle | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Facebook mother Meta lost $2.81 billion on $452 million in revenue from its virtual reality division, Reality Labs, during the quarter ended June as it forecast a second straight quarter of declining revenue on Wednesday.
The substantial amount is the latest sign that CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Meta are continuing to spend heavily to keep the social media giant turning to developing virtual reality and augmented reality products and the so-called “metaverse.”
It’s a substantial but affordable expense for a company that earned $8.36 billion in operating revenue during the quarter on total revenue of $28.82 billion.
Zuckerberg and other Meta leaders believe that virtual and augmented reality headsets will be the most important next-generation computing platform and are willing to spend big on technologies that may be years out and prototypes that aren’t ready to be. released, as well as a significant staff of technical experts, to compete with Apple, Google, Microsoft, and other companies eyeing the industry.
Meta’s Quest 2 headset is currently the most popular VR headset on the market, although the overall market remains small. Meta said earlier this week that it will increase the price from $299 to $399.
Meta plans to release more advanced goggles later this year that will use cameras on the front of the device to relay the real world to the user in the headset.
Meta has also spent acquiring VR companies and startups developing core technologies for headsets. But the FTC sued them on Wednesday to prevent them from buying the maker of the popular VR app Supernatural, suggesting that future acquisitions would be subject to significant regulatory scrutiny.