Meta Is Killing Its Portal And Smartwatch Projects

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A report by Reuters on Nov. 11 showed that Meta announced internally it would be eliminating large sections of its tech development staff. Apparently, about half of the 11,000 jobs cut from the firm were in technology development. Meanwhile, the company stopped working on Portal smart displays and smartwatches altogether.

Meta is a sizable company, operating across several different verticals aside from digital media. For example, its Reality Labs business pumps out research and development in the virtual reality sector, resulting in products like the Meta Quest 2 and its far more expensive counterpart, the Quest Pro. However, its business model is still ultimately tied to advertising, which means its greatest imperative is to remain competitive in ways that’ll keep eyes on its products.

It makes sense that Portal and its smartwatch companion would lose support in lieu of other Meta products. Putting it simply, Portal isn’t all that successful as an advertising revenue-generating product if people don’t use it. Engadget reported in June that Meta would be discontinuing Portal sales to consumers in favor of enterprise customers, meaning its existing audience of roughly 1.4 million non-enterprise customers is likely far too small to sustain for the cost of R&D. Regardless, there are several good reasons not to trust a Meta-controlled smart device, whether you’re a professional organization or an average Joe consumer, but the company itself probably wasn’t all that keen to continue pumping its resources into a physical product line that wasn’t directly aimed at your household’s Christmas tree this upcoming holiday season. If giving your data away to Meta isn’t a concern, then arguably the Quest 2 is just a better bet.

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