Mark Zuckerberg shares updated avatar after internet ridiculed previous picture

Mark Zuckerberg's updated avatar and the original
The backlash clearly got to the billionaire whose update is more realistic. Photo credit: Supplied / Facebook

Mark Zuckerberg has teased major updates to Metaverse game Horizon Worlds after being roundly mocked for an image he shared last week.

The response to the original pic, which showed a very basic avatar of the billionaire in front of French and Spanish landmarks, was brutal.

It was intended to highlight the expansion of the VR game into those countries. Instead social media was full of responses poking fun, with many suggesting the graphics were like something made in the 1990s.

Others chose to point out how creepy Zuckerberg's avatar was, with one comparing it to "that character in horror films whose first line is, 'I'm sorry, did I startle you?'".

The backlash appears to have gotten to the Meta CEO and his team and he posted an update with a more realistic avatar to his Instagram and Facebook accounts.

"Major updates to Horizon and avatar graphics coming soon. I'll share more at Connect," he wrote, referring to one of Meta's major conferences.

"Also, I know the photo I posted earlier this week was pretty basic - it was taken very quickly to celebrate a launch.

"The graphics in Horizon are capable of much more - even on headsets - and Horizon is improving very quickly."

The other image Zuckerberg shared appeared to show some kind of Roman or Ancient Greek remains, with a much more realistic look than the very graphical Eiffel Tower in the original post.

Horizon Worlds is currently only available in certain countries worldwide and isn't available in Aotearoa yet.

It forms part of Meta's plans to create the Metaverse, which it sees as the future of the internet.

However, those plans aren't without controversy.

The term 'metaverse' came from Neal Stephenson science fiction book Snow Crash and there are many online who believe it should be open and free instead of being co-opted by giant companies to make profit.

Early users have also reported multiple instances of virtual sexual harrassment.

Just days after it was launched, website The Verge posted the story of a woman who said she had been virtually groped in the game.

"Sexual harassment is no joke on the regular internet, but being in VR adds another layer that makes the event more intense," the woman posted on the official Horizon Worlds Facebook page. 

"Not only was I groped last night, but there were other people there who supported this behaviour which made me feel isolated in the Plaza."