Christmas was so Meta: Big jump in Oculus app installs signals a tipping point for VR

Todd Bishop


New numbers suggest that the Meta Quest 2 was a big holiday seller. (GeekWire Photo / Todd Bishop)

New installations of the Oculus mobile app jumped more than 150% over the Christmas weekend, compared to past years, according to numbers released Tuesday morning by Apptopia.

In other words, there were a lot of virtual reality headsets under the tree this year. Oculus app installations approached 650,000 globally from Dec. 24 to 26, up from 255,000 the year before, according to data from the real-time competitive intelligence platform.

Credit: Apptopia

It’s the latest sign of big holiday for Meta, the parent company of Oculus and Facebook, which have large engineering operations in the Seattle region.

Earlier reports noted that the Oculus app had jumped to the top of the charts on Apple’s iOS. At a starting price of $300, the Oculus Meta Quest 2 appears to be doing more than its part to bring virtual reality into the mainstream.

Speaking from personal experience, as someone who put a Quest 2 under the tree this year, it’s a great device that demonstrates the potential of untethered virtual reality. But it’s a bummer that Meta hasn’t yet implemented its promise to no longer require a Facebook account to set up and use the Quest 2 and other VR headsets. That change expected sometime next year.

Virtual reality is a gateway to Meta’s larger vision for the Metaverse, as outlined by CEO Mark Zuckerberg earlier this year. The big numbers suggest that the controversy swirling around Facebook in recent months might not ultimately hold the company back in its efforts to pursue the Metaverse next phase in its evolution.

And maybe that name change was a smart move, after all.

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