Meta’s VR social network, Horizon Worlds – the company’s flagship “metaverse” app – suffers from too many quality issues and even the team building it isn’t using it much, according to internal memos obtained by The edge.
In one of the memos to employees dated Sept. 15, Metaverse’s Vice President of Meta, Vishal Shah, said the team would remain in a “quality lockdown” for the remainder of the year to ” ensure that we fix our quality discrepancies and performance issues before we do. open Horizon to more users.
“Simply put, for an experience to become enjoyable and sticky, it must first be usable and well-designed.”
“Since launching late last year, we’ve found that the central thesis of Horizon Worlds – a synchronous social network where creators can create engaging worlds – is solid,” Shah wrote in a note the month last. “But currently, feedback from our creators, users, testers, and many of us on the team indicates that the sheer weight of paper cuts, stability issues, and bugs makes it too difficult for our community to discover the Horizon magic. Simply put, for an experience to become enjoyable and sticky, it must first be usable and well-designed. »
Although Meta has teased its work on more realistic avatars, the current quality of Horizon’s graphics pales in comparison to some of its non-VR competitors like Fortnite. Zuckerberg himself recently got ripped off after posting a screenshot of his 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 he would be sharing “major Horizon updates and avatar graphics” at the company’s annual Connect conference which is scheduled for October 11.
“Why don’t we love the product we’ve built so much that we use it all the time?”
A key issue with Horizon’s development to date, according to Shah’s internal notes, is that the people building it inside Meta seem to not be using it much. “For many of us, we don’t spend a lot of time in Horizon and our dogfooding dashboards show that pretty clearly,” he wrote to employees on Sept. 15. “Why so? Why don’t we like the product we’ve built so much that we use it all the time? The simple truth is, if we don’t like it, how can we expect our users like it?”
In a follow-up note dated Sept. 30, Shah said employees were still not using Horizon enough, writing that a plan was being developed to “empower managers” to have their teams use Horizon at least once. times per week. “Everyone in this organization should make it their mission to fall in love with Horizon Worlds. You can’t do that without using it. Get in there. both in the internal builds but also in the public build in order to be able to interact with our community.
He went on to discuss specific issues with Horizon, writing that “our onboarding experience is confusing and frustrating for users” and that the team needed to “introduce new users to world-class worlds that will ensure their first visit is a success”.
Shah said teams working on Horizon should collaborate better and expect more changes. “Today we are not operating with enough flexibility,” reads his memo. “I want to be clear on this point. We are working on a product that has not found its place on the market. If you are on Horizon, I need you to embrace ambiguity and change fully.
He said employees working on Horizon will see their VR user growth targets reduced and that the next 2D version of Horizon for the web will likely not have a user target, but rather a “high quality bar”.
In a statement shared with The edge, Meta spokeswoman Ashley Zandy said the company is “confident that the Metaverse is the future of computing and that it should be built around people.” She said the company is “always making quality improvements and acting on feedback from our creator community. This is a multi-year journey, and we’re going to keep improving what we build.
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