Meta has reportedly stopped pitching advertisers on the metaverse

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Meta has reportedly stopped pitching advertisers on the metaverse
Less than one year after Meta CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg was pushing the Metaverse, the firm has moved away from the technology in meetings with advertisers.GLENN CHAPMAN/AFP via Getty Images
  • Meta has shifted away from pitching the metaverse to advertisers, The Information reported.
  • In pitch meetings, the company has reportedly been prioritizing Reels and AI tools.
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Around this time last year, Mark Zuckerberg was all in on the burgeoning possibilities of the metaverse — the very thing after which he renamed his company.

But, as his company embraces cost-cutting and loses billions of dollars in its efforts to bring virtual worlds to fruition, his enthusiasm has been waning.

According to a new report from The Information, Meta is no longer pitching the metaverse to advertisers in meetings. Instead, the company is incentivizing the use of its short-form video product Reels, while also highlighting its slew of AI tools, per the report.

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The company is reportedly offering discounts of as much as 25% in the event that a certain amount of money is spent on Reels, per The Information. One ad executive whose firm spends hundreds of millions with Meta told The Information that this discount was "unusually large."

Aside from pushing the adoption of Reels, Meta is touting its host of AI tools for advertisers, such as Advantage+, a program introduced last year that uses machine learning to deliver targeted ads across Meta's social platforms, per The Information.

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Meta is also investing in generative AI tools that can assist in creating marketing campaigns, per The Information. One Meta employee told the publication these types of investments could mean short-term gains for the company, which has been facing pressure amid cost cutting.

Meta has been turning away from the metaverse as part of the company's "Year of Efficiency," which has seen the firm lay off more than 20,000 employees over the last six months.

Last October, Zuckerberg refused to back down from his commitment to the metaverse, claiming that spending on Reality Labs, the division of Meta focused on building the metaverse into a functioning set of products, would only increase. But now Reality Labs, which has lost billions of dollars, is being pressured to execute more economically.

In a note addressing the most recent round of layoffs, Zuckerberg only mentioned the metaverse twice in over 2,000 words, while AI development was described as the company's "single largest investment." And in a February call discussing Meta's 2022 full-year earnings, executives brought up AI six times — while the metaverse was not mentioned at all.

Meta declined to provide an on-the-record comment about its metaverse ambitions or advertising strategy.

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