Facebook has announced plans to spend big on its metaverse division which it will separate out from the wider company.
In its third quarter earnings announcement the tech giant revealed it is bullish about the metaverse, an online space where people can interact, explore and make purchases as digital avatars, calling it “the next generation of online social experiences.”
Going forwards Facebook Reality Labs, the company’s metaverse and AI segment, will be reported on separately to the company’s family of apps which includes the Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger.
“As we have discussed, we are dedicating significant resources toward our augmented and virtual reality products and services, which are an important part of our work to develop the next generation of online social experiences,” said David Wehner, Facebook’s chief financial officer.
“The new segment disclosures will provide additional information on the performance of FRL and the investments we are making,” he added.
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s infamous founder positioned building a new digital reality platform at the centre of the company’s future plan. He said “I’m excited about our roadmap, especially around creators, commerce, and helping to build the metaverse.”
It comes as Facebook recorded third quarter earnings of £6.5bn even as it faces off damaging allegations from a former employee.
Ex-Facebook employee, Frances Haugen, spoke with UK MPs and peers on Monday afternoon for two and a half hours about the company’s inner workings.
The data engineer went public earlier this year with thousands of pages of internal research documents she secretly copied before quitting her job in the firm’s civic integrity unit.
She accused Facebook of putting profits ahead of safety by failing to introduce safeguards even though its own research showed that the app’s algorithms harm teenagers’ mental health and incite racial hatred. Facebook denies the allegations.
Despite the bad press, Mark Zuckerberg has repeatedly talked about pushing ahead with the creation of a metaverse in recent months.