Daily Archives: February 11, 2023

Meta Horizon Worlds eyes a Younger Demographic

Once more we delve into Mark Zuckerberg’s desire to become a real boy and how on finding that his fortune could not buy him this dream, he went to plan B, which was turn people into unblinking uncanny valley triggering avatars by spending billions of dollars on a Metaverse vision just so he would fit in.

This image will live forever

When last we spoke of it the VR champion, John Carmack walked away, leaving the Juicero guy driving the Reality Labs group, mass layoffs revived the stock price, and users of Horizon Worlds had been promised legs.

The promise of yet to be delivered legs

Wall Street always loves to see layoffs and misery, it is good for the market, and rewarded Meta with a jump in its stock price.  However, still spending a billion dollars a month on VR and the multiverse has yet to pay off.

So the latest idea is to market the metaverse idea to kids.

*Record Scratch*

*Freeze Frame*

Say what?

I don’t think this is a hugely outrageous idea.  It is more a matter of them not having gone there already.

We know at least some kids use Facebook.  News items pop up now and then about teens finding some new way to be mean to each other using social media.  So there has to be some of them on the site.

No, the surprised was more my realization that the marketing so far had, in fact, been pointed at the middle age demographic.  The only ad I can recall for the site involved a woman close to my age meeting up with friends in Horizon Worlds while her husband looked on in a patronizingly dismissive, “Oh Lucy, you crazy redhead!” sort of way.

In fact, you have had to be 18 or older in order to use Horizon Worlds up until this point.

I can’t tell if the audience targeting was because Zuck also wants to be seen as an adult and not be mistaken at congressional hearings for three kids in a trench coat or if that was more a reflection of who actually uses Facebook.

As it turns out, older people are less likely to be early adopters of new technology.

The problem is, do enough young people care?  Will dropping the entry age to 13, which is the current plan (an age no doubt chosen because US law requires special protections for kids under that age), boost usage? Are they more likely to have access to VR and be willing to do… um… whatever it is you do in Horizon Worlds?

I ask because, last I read, even the Horizon Worlds team at Meta needs to be prodded to play the title.