Earlier this month, social media company Meta announced widespread layoffs. Some 13% of the company’s workforce will soon be looking for work. Those folks have to come from somewhere. It seems like Portal and the rest of Meta’s hardware division are taking the knock.
A brief report from Reuters says that Meta is slamming the brakes on its hardware divisions. At the moment it appears that VR is safe — because of its metaverse utility — but everyone else… well…
Portal to nowhere
Portal, if your memory is a little short, was a lineup of smart displays. They were primarily used to facilitate Messenger conversations (and collect user data for Meta’s thresher maw). They were poorly received by the folks familiar with the company’s data practices. Unfortunately, Portal’s target audience and those informed users overlap heavily on any Venn diagram.
Another project getting the boot is Meta’s unreleased smartwatch. The device was supposed to work with Facebook’s Stories glasses (remember those?). Unlike Portal, the smartwatch hadn’t ever seen the light of day. Now it’s extremely unlikely to launch. Anyone who bought Stories is probably also out of luck, since those two were supposed to work together.
That physical store showcasing Meta’s tech? That’s probably also gone. It leaned heavily on demonstrations of Portal tech, as well as the company’s virtual reality tech. It could stick around as a ‘metaverse’ demo room but Meta’s hardware ambitions are more or less in the toilet.