UPDATED 20:26 EDT / DECEMBER 27 2021


In a win for Meta, Oculus app tops App Store rankings at Christmas

Meta Platform Inc.’s ambitions to make the metaverse and virtual reality mainstream have gotten a boost as the Oculus app became the most popular app on Apple Inc.’s App Store on Christmas Day.

The app, downloaded by Meta’s Oculus users to manage their headsets, surged to the top of the list, indicating that Oculus headsets were one of the most popular technology gifts over the holidays. CNBC reported today that although App Store rankings are not perfect, they provide a good snapshot of how popular a given app is at a moment in time and a way to peek into technology trends at Christmas.

This is the first time the Oculus app has made it to the top of the App Store at Christmas. The seeming popularity of the Oculus app and hence the headset was not limited to iOS users either. According to App Annie, the Oculus app is also the most popular free app on Google Play in the U.S. today, indicating that the numbers on Apple’s App Store were not a freak one-off or anomaly.

The solid results for Oculus came in a year that Meta, previously Facebook Inc., changed its name to reflect its new focus as a platform provider with various products, including the metaverse. Meta has also continued to beef up its Oculus division with the acquisition of several companies and even plans to launch retail stores to promote its VR technology.

Meta launched Horizon Worlds, a VR world of avatars, to anyone 18 and old in the U.S. and Canada on Dec. 9. The service, which has received mixed reviews, allows users to create a legless avatar to wander in an animated virtual world where they can play games and interact with other users.

Although Meta will be happy with the results over Christmas, the numbers do not necessarily mean that Oculus headsets and the metaverse will go on to be highly successful. CNBC rightly noted that in previous years, Amazon.com Inc., Google LLC and Fitbit Inc. have “won” Christmas with their gadgets, but none of those products went on to be a game-changer as Meta hopes VR will be.

That said, investors liked the news. Meta’s share price rose 3.3% in regular trading, to $346.18.

Photo: Meta

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