Meta Dropouts Smart Display, Smartwatch Projects

Meta Dropouts Smart Display, Smartwatch Projects

Meta Platforms reportedly plans to end its Portal smart display and its smartwatch projects as it focuses on core businesses in the wake of sweeping job cuts.

According to published reports, company executives announced the end of that side of Meta’s business Friday (Nov. 11), two days after the social networking giant laid off 11,000 workers.

Meta has looked to trim its costs as it continues to focus on its metaverse work. CEO Mark Zuckerberg last week acknowledged that the company had misjudged eCommerce spending levels, projecting they would continue at the same pace as they had during the pandemic.

“Unfortunately, this did not play out the way I expected,” he told employees in a memo announcing the layoffs.

“Not only has online commerce returned to prior trends, but the macroeconomic downturn, increased competition, and ads signal loss have caused our revenue to be much lower than I’d expected. I got this wrong, and I take responsibility for that.”

Last week also saw Meta purchase software company Audio Analytic, which makes artificial intelligence-driven (AI) sound recognition software, as part of Zuckerberg’s continued — and divisive — metaverse ambitions.

As PYMNTS noted recently, shareholders have expressed frustration that Zuckerberg has done little to soothe their concerns about Meta’s money-losing metaverse efforts.

Zuckerberg doubled down on the project during the company’s earnings call last month, telling investors metaverse spending will not only continue but would also expand, even though its Reality Labs was on track to lose $12 billion to $15 billion this year.

That pronouncement led to a 24% drop in the company’s stock and extended its yearlong slump to more than 70%. Zuckerberg, meanwhile, was branded “tone-deaf” by “disgusted” institutional investors.

“Despite having produced nothing more than some very pricy and feature-rich headsets and the Horizon Worlds virtual reality (VR) platform that included widely derided low-quality graphics, Meta has little else to show for its investment and corporate rebranding from Facebook,” PYMNTS wrote earlier this month.

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