• Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg shared his new, boyish metaverse avatar on Friday.
  • He posted it on Instagram after a creepy, dead-eyed version from days earlier was roundly mocked.
  • Zuckerberg said big graphics updates were coming for Meta's Horizon Worlds metaverse platform.

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg unveiled a new, boyish metaverse avatar on Friday after a creepy, dead-eyed version he posted Monday was roundly mocked.

Zuckerberg also on Friday promised a major graphics update for Horizon Worlds, Meta's metaverse platform, which has been criticized for its budget feel.

On Monday, Zuckerberg shared on his Facebook profile that Horizon Worlds had launched in France and Spain, and posted an image of the Zuckerberg avatar standing in front of the Eiffel Tower

Social-media users were quick to deride the image, with some likening the graphics to 1990s video games like Zelda and Quake, and 2007's Second Life.

In an Instagram post Friday featuring his new-look avatar, Zuckerberg admitted the avatar he posted Monday was "basic" and said it had been generated quickly to celebrate the France and Spain launch. He also on Friday posted a screenshot of a better-looking Horizon Worlds in an apparent bid to reassure his followers.  

"The graphics in Horizon are capable of much more — even on headsets — and Horizon is improving very quickly," Zuckerberg said.

A post shared by Mark Zuckerberg (@zuck)

The capabilities of the metaverse, particularly as an alternative to face-to-face interaction, are often called into question. The phenomenon of virtual real estate dealing in the metaverse was recently slammed by the billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban.

Zuckerberg said earlier this year that the company's metaverse project would bleed significant sums of money for up to five years.

Meta stock has lost half its value this year as Facebook's user numbers shrink and doubts grow over its expensive push into the metaverse. The company froze hiring in May as revenue growth slowed.

Reuters reported in July that Zuckerberg was upping performance goals at the company to get rid of staff that "shouldn't be here."

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