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Facebook parent Meta to lift veil off its Metaverse business

Meta plans to break out the results of its augmented and virtual-reality hardware unit, Reality Labs, for the first time, an investment the company previously warned would cause a $10 billion (roughly Rs. 74,680 crore) hit to 2021 profit and would not be profitable “any time in the near future.”
The company is hiring engineers and buying up multiple virtual reality gaming studios to build toward the metaverse, which is a broad futuristic idea of shared virtual realms that can be accessed via different devices and which Zuckerberg is betting will be the successor to the mobile internet.
Analysts said they would be keen to see indicators about the Reality Labs division’s profitability, how long it might be a drag on the advertising side, and evidence around the strength of VR headset sales.
The company has not released sales numbers for Quest headsets, but a July recall notice for the Quest 2’s facial foam liners said it affected about 4 million units in the United States. In a sign of strong sales for the headsets during the recent holiday period, its Oculus app hit the top spot on the U.S. App Store for free iPhone apps on Christmas Day.
“The Apple tracking change clearly had a negative impact on Facebook in the September quarter,” said Evercore ISI analyst Mark Mahaney. “The question is, were they able to further mitigate that risk … or did it become bigger?”
Pedro Palandrani, a research analyst at Global X, said the metaverse was the “long-term story” but in the near term investors would look for how Meta navigates Apple’s policy as well as e-commerce updates and ways to monetize messaging or features like its short video offering, Reels.
Meta, which reported 2020 revenue of about $86 billion, has yet to explain in detail how it will make money in the metaverse. In November, it pointed to potential opportunities for brands, from immersive shops to running paid mixed-reality events. The company has invited a group of ad execs to discuss its brand change and its plans for the metaverse at a virtual roundtable next month.

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