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Meta’s VP of Horizon Vivek Sharma Steps Down

Vivek Sharma, the vice president of Meta’s virtual reality (VR) social platform Horizon, is leaving the company for a new opportunity.

As Reuters wrote Friday (Aug. 26), Sharma’s team will now be reporting to Vishal Shah, the vice president of Metaverse. Sharma’s job consisted of developing the virtual environment that users experience inside the metaverse, which is accessible through the company’s VR devices.

His team made platforms like Horizon Worlds, a VR world-building platform, and Horizon Venues, which focuses on virtual events. Work was also done with Horizon Workrooms, a virtual conferencing technology, per the report.

Sharma had been with Meta for over five years, and was previously vice president of product for Facebook Gaming and Facebook Marketplace.

His departure comes in the midst of an “embarrassing” incident at Meta, in which critics of Horizon Worlds made fun of the quality of its graphics following a lackluster in-world “selfie” of CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s virtual avatar. After sharing the image, Zuckerberg acknowledged the photo was “pretty basic.”

However, Meta has been heavily focusing on the metaverse in recent months, aiming to make the virtual worlds a place for brands and developers to reach users.

Alongside this, the metaverse has been growing in popularity among many companies, and PYMNTS wrote that while it’s mainly been focused on gaming, retail and art, it also has potential in other areas of life, including banking.

Read more: EU, MENA FIs Embrace, Bank on the Metaverse

For instance, J.P. Morgan and others have been dipping their toes into the metaverse pool, and earlier this year, banking group Emirates NBD rolled out a global accelerator program for metaverse startups.

The accelerator will focus on “building the technology stack to facilitate the shift to 3D, creating virtual worlds to augment the customer experience in the metaverse and enabling a decentralized payment infrastructure for customers to create, monetize, buy and sell digital assets and services.”

NEW PYMNTS SURVEY FINDS 3 IN 4 CONSUMERS WITH STRONG DEMAND FOR SUPER APPSAbout: The findings in PYMNTS’ new study, “The Super App Shift: How Consumers Want To Save, Shop And Spend In The Connected Economy,” a collaboration with PayPal, analyzed the responses from 9,904 consumers in Australia, Germany, the U.K. and the U.S. and showed strong demand for a single multifunctional super apps rather than using dozens of individuals ones.

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