Meta Employees Should ‘Fall in Love’ with Horizon Worlds Metaverse App, Says Leaked Memo
Horizon Worlds is the company’s first attempt at CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s vision of the metaverse. The Verge obtained internal memos discussing the current state of Horizon Worlds, which indicated that the app is too buggy to actually attract and then retain users — Meta’s own employees among them.
Meta’s VP of Metaverse, Vishal Shah, said in a memo dated September 15 that the team working on Horizon Worlds will go into a “quality lockdown” for the rest of the year to “ensure that we fix our quality gaps and performance issues before we open up Horizon to more users.”
“Since launching late last year, we have seen that the core thesis of Horizon Worlds — a synchronous social network where creators can build engaging worlds — is strong,” Shah wrote in one of the memos.
“But currently feedback from our creators, users, playtesters, and many of us on the team is that the aggregate weight of papercuts, stability issues, and bugs is making it too hard for our community to experience the magic of Horizon. Simply put, for an experience to become delightful and retentive, it must first be usable and well crafted.”
Shah said that even the people building Horizon Worlds aren’t using it as much as they should or, better yet, should want to.
“For many of us, we don’t spend that much time in Horizon and our dogfooding dashboards show this pretty clearly,” he wrote to employees on September 15th.
“Why is that? Why don’t we love the product we’ve built so much that we use it all the time? The simple truth is, if we don’t love it, how can we expect our users to love it?”
Meta went on to essentially instruct employees to use the Horizon Worlds app with both colleagues and friends.
In a follow-up memo dated September 30th, Shah said that employees still weren’t using Horizon enough. He added that the company would implement a plan to “hold managers accountable” for having their teams use Horizon at least once a week.
“Everyone in this organization should make it their mission to fall in love with Horizon Worlds,” Shah said in the memo. “You can’t do that without using it. Get in there. Organize times to do it with your colleagues or friends, in both internal builds but also the public build so you can interact with our community.”
Shah also pointed out specific issues with Horizon Worlds that the team should work on. “Our onboarding experience is confusing and frustrating for users,” he said, adding that Meta needs to “introduce new users to top-notch worlds that will ensure their first visit is a success.”
The metaverse remains one of Meta’s top priorities, despite the company cutting both jobs and budgets across its many teams in the face of economic challenges and a marked downturn in revenue. However, it’s painfully clear that Meta has a lot more work to do on Horizon Worlds if the company’s own employees don’t want to use the app.
Mark “Zuck” Zuckerberg is expected to share “major updates to Horizon and avatar graphics” at Meta’s annual Connect conference, slated for October 11.