Facebook announced on Monday that it will begin breaking out the financials for its virtual and augmented reality unit, a move that comes as its core advertising operations face “significant uncertainty.” After reporting quarterly revenue that fell short of market estimates, Facebook cautioned that Apple Inc’s new privacy guidelines would have an impact on its digital business in the current quarter.
Facebook’s Chief Financial Officer, David Wehner, reportedly noted that the company expects investment in its hardware division, Facebook Reality Labs, will cut overall operating profit by $10 billion in 2021. The financial commitment by the world’s largest social media company to building the “metaverse” comes as the company is swamped with coverage of papers revealed by former Facebook employee and whistleblower Frances Haugen, who claimed the company valued profit over user safety.
Facebook made significant investments in virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), including the acquisition of companies such as Oculus, formed a product team this year to focus on the metaverse. the company announced last month that it intends to hire 10,000 people in Europe over the next five years to work on this initiative.