Meta invested a whopping $13.7 billion into the Metaverse last year

Meta, once known as Facebook, sunk a whopping $13.7 billion into its metaverse dreams last year, with $4.3 billion of that splurge happening just in the final quarter. You’d think the cost would have investors losing their minds, but nope – the company’s stock still shot up 20% thanks to its successful advertising business targeting Facebook’s aging user base.

Reality Labs, the unit responsible for all things metaverse, will continue to hemorrhage money, but Mark Zuckerberg says it’s worth it. Who wouldn’t want a future with headache-inducing tech strapped to their heads?

Zuckerberg remains bullish on the metaverse for a few reasons: Quest 3 VR headset is set to launch later this year, VR apps are starting to bring in some real dough (more than 200 apps now make over a million dollars on Meta’s platform), and even more than 100 million WhatsApp users have created their own animated avatars.

For now, investors are tolerating Zuckerberg’s metaverse obsession while core Facebook rakes in the cash. But with such a steep price tag, he’ll need more than just Bitmojis to convince everyone this isn’t just a desperate gamble.

Oh, and if you were wondering about the number of employees working on making Zuckerberg’s metaverse dreams a reality, the company hasn’t released those numbers. But, it was reported that Reality Labs had 17,000 employees prior to layoffs late last year. Developing hardware and staffing, of course, take up the bulk of the money spent in this area.

Meta CFO Susan Li has stated that they expect the annual losses for Reality Labs to be even higher in 2023, but the company is committed to their investment, calling it a “long-duration investment” with “significant long-term opportunities.” Meta is planning to launch a next-generation consumer headset in 2023, hoping to stay ahead of the competition – Apple is rumored to launch their own AR/VR headset soon.

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