It's been a tough year for Meta, but the company has ended 2022 on a defiant note – by doubling down on its Metaverse mission.
Meta's Chief Tech Officer Andrew Bosworth stated in a blog post on Monday that the firm is sticking to its guns, and it will continue to invest 20 per cent of its spending on the tech.
The post read: "After one of the hardest years in the history of the company, Meta remains as committed to our vision for the future as we were on the day we announced it."
He went on to confirm that Meta will invest a fifth of its R&D spend on its VR Reality Labs division. "It's a level of investment we believe makes sense for a company committed to staying at the leading edge of one of the most competitive and innovative industries on earth," he said.
This was defiant stuff after a miserable year for Meta's Metaverse operation. Facebook acquired VR specialist Oculus in 2014, but eight years later the tech remains mostly a niche activity for gamers.
In 2022, it was revealed that even Meta's employees don't use its Horizon Worlds enterprise VR concept, while John Carmack, who was consulting CTO of Meta's VR initiative, left the company last week.
Meanwhile, Meta has made cutbacks for the first time in its history, laying off 11,000 employees in November.
Clearly Meta is determined not to be one of those market leaders that fails to invest in creative renewal. But only time will tell if it has made the right call with this particular technology.
Bosworth said: "When economic conditions turn, it's easy to cut back on your ambitions, stick to what's safest and most profitable today, and squeeze as much as you can from it.
"We've all seen the disastrous consequences of this kind of short-term thinking: hollowed out companies that gave up on innovating long ago, content to just turn the crank on an existing business until it stops working."