This Oculus photo shows what it could be like to play in an apartment.
The Metaverse won Christmas this year.
Meta, the parent company of Facebook, had the most popular app in Apple’s App Store on Christmas Day: the Oculus virtual reality app. It’s the app people download to manage the Oculus VR headset, and its top ranking is an indicator that Meta’s VR headset was one of the most popular tech giveaways over the holidays.
App Store rankings aren’t perfect, but they do provide a good insight into the popularity of a given app at any given time. It’s also a great look at tech trends every Christmas as people activate all their new gadgets.
In Meta’s case, this is the first time its Oculus app has topped the App Store this Christmas. This coincides with the year CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that the company would invest at least $ 10 billion to build the Metaverse, a virtual world that he says will become the norm for social media, games and even work. in the future. Zuckerberg believes in the concept of the Metaverse so much that he changed Facebook’s name to Meta this fall.
Zuckerberg’s pivot to the Metaverse was just one of the major events that showed the growing enthusiasm around the Metaverse this year. Games company Roblox, which made its bet on the Metaverse years before we even heard the word cross Zuckerberg’s lips, went public in March at a valuation of nearly $ 40 billion. This prompted investors to seek out the next big metaverse stock, with names like Nvidia and AMD dominating the conversation. Both companies are selling chips that will power it.
Today’s VR headsets from Meta are nowhere near powerful or capable enough to enable Zuckerberg’s ultimate vision for the Metaverse. But they can give you a taste of what’s possible. On top of that, Meta now has a lot more customers, allowing it to collect more data on how normal people use VR and tailor experiences to those tastes. If Zuckerberg’s thesis on the Metaverse is correct, then this year’s new generation of VR users will help educate Meta and other companies working on similar technologies to decide what kind of experiments to do next.
Yet while Meta doesn’t disclose how many VR headsets it sells, the technology hasn’t reached the adoption inflection point where it can grab the kind of attention from customers and software developers alike. smartphones and computers.
The party won’t necessarily last because Meta had a great Christmas this year. To put it in perspective, we’ve seen companies like Amazon, Google, and Fitbit “win” Christmas in recent years from sales of their gadgets. So far, none of these products have proven to be a game-changer that Meta hopes VR will become.
For now, however, the success of the Meta Vacation is a strong indicator that the company is on the right track in its quest to build the Metaverse.