The holiday season has been kind to Meta Platforms, Facebook’s parent company that recently changed its name to tout its commitment to building the metaverse.
App downloads to support Oculus, Meta’s virtual reality brand, rose to the top of the mobile app store charts after Christmas, suggesting that its headsets were popular giveaways this year. Before this week, Oculus was one of the top 10 iOS apps in just one country, the US, but on December 26 it became one of the top five apps in 14 different countries and the number one app in the US. According to Justin Patterson, an equity study. KeyBanc Capital Markets analyst. The app topped the Google Play Store also on Android devices.
Oculus was downloaded 1.3 million times worldwide between Dec. 21-27 between the top two app markets, according to app analytics firm Sensor Tower, a 363% increase in new downloads week-over-week. Sensor Tower counts 13 million installs in the lifetime of the app, which means 10% occurred in the past week.
The company’s current model, the Quest 2, retails for $ 299 or $ 399 depending on storage.
Oculus and the metaverse
Oculus, which Facebook bought for $ 2.3 billion in 2014, has become a central element of Meta’s planned transformation from social media giant to metaverse pioneer. In October, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg laid out his vision for the metaverse, an immersive next-generation version of the internet powered by virtual and augmented reality. Zuckerberg presented a detailed but unbuilt view of the metaverse through Oculus goggles.
Oculus’ Christmas success could also be attributed to a shortage of video game consoles like Sony’s PlayStation 5 and Nintendo’s Switch OLED, KeyBanc’s Patterson wrote in an analyst note. The global shortage of chips and high consumer demand have made video game consoles, always popular Christmas gifts, difficult to come by.
Meta did not immediately respond to a request for data about its Christmas sales, but its devices are among the most popular in virtual reality. Oculus is cheaper than much of the competition (HTC’s Vive Pro 2, for example, retails for $ 799) and is considered an industry standard.
This article has been updated to include data from Sensor Tower.