Mark Zuckerberg updates ‘dead-eyed’ metaverse avatar after being teased

Billionaire’s VR selfie described as ‘eye-gougingly ugly’

Anthony Cuthbertson
Monday 22 August 2022 12:48 BST
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<p>Mark Zuckerberg unveiled his latest avatar for Meta’s Horizon metaverse platform on 19 August, 2022</p>

Mark Zuckerberg unveiled his latest avatar for Meta’s Horizon metaverse platform on 19 August, 2022

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has unveiled a new avatar for his metaverse character after the previous version was widely mocked online for appearing “dead-eyed” and creepy.

The criticism focussed on a Facebook post last week promoting the launch of the Horizon Worlds platform in France and Spain.

It featured a screengrab of Mr Zuckerberg’s avatar standing in front of a low-resolution rendering of the Eiffel Tower and Spain’s Tibidabo Cathedral.

The post was captioned: “Looking forward to seeing people explore and build immersive worlds, and bringing this to more countries soon.”

The billionaire’s post prompted a swift reaction across social media, with one commenter describing it as an “eye-gougingly ugly VR selfie”.

Others compared the graphics to those of the Nintendo Wii from 2006, while some even mocked it up to look like a game for the 16-year-old console.

In a post to Instagram, which is also owned by Meta, Mr Zuckerberg said “major updates” would be coming soon to Horizon and avatar graphics.

“I know the photo I posted earlier this week was pretty basic –it was taken very quickly to celebrate a launch,” he wrote.

“The graphics in Horizon are capable of much more – even on headsets – and Horizon is improving very quickly.”

In Meta’s first quarter earnings call this year, Mr Zuckerberg said the company would continue spending billions of dollars on virtual reality and the metaverse despite the firm’s stock price falling by more than 50 per cent over the last year.

Part of investment will be spend on developing and launching VR hardware, including a high-end mixed reality headset, in an effort to make the metaverse more accessible.

Meta also plans to launch a web version of its Horizons platform, which is currently only available on the Quest headset.

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