Why did Facebook become Meta?
But the most interesting question, in my opinion, is: why does Mr. Zuckerberg do this? After all, this isn’t the prelude to a big corporate reorganization or the sign of a CEO who wants to make his job easier, as it did when Google rebranded itself as Alphabet in 2015 and Larry Page has ceded control on a daily basis. from Google to Sundar Pichai. And while some have speculated that the Meta rebranding is meant to deflect attention from Facebook’s latest round of scandals, it’s bizarre to think that announcing a radical plan to reinvent the digital world would draw criticism. less skeptical of the company’s motives.
To understand why Mr. Zuckerberg is going all-in, it helps to understand that a successful metaverse pivot could help solve at least four big, thorny issues Facebook faces here in the Earth world.
The first is the one I’ve written about before, which is that Facebook’s core business in social media is aging and young users are abandoning its apps in favor of TikTok, Snapchat, and other cooler apps. Facebook’s youth problem hasn’t hurt it financially yet, but ad revenue is a lagging indicator, and there’s plenty of evidence that even Instagram – the supposedly healthy app in Facebook’s wallet – is quickly losing momentum. attention of adolescents and young people in their twenties.
The darker version of what Facebook could become over the next few years, if current trends hold true – a baby boomer-dominated mud pit filled with cute animal videos and hyperpartisan trash – n ‘ clearly isn’t the sort of thing the company wants as a flagship. (Mr Zuckerberg explicitly endorsed a youth-focused strategy this week, saying the company’s new goal is to attract and retain young users.)
The Metaverse could help cope with the company’s demographic crisis, if it encourages young people to don their Oculus headsets and hang out in Horizon – Facebook’s virtual reality social app – instead of watching TikTok videos. on their phones.
Another problem that Facebook’s metaverse strategy could solve, if it works, is platform risk. For years, Mr. Zuckerberg has been upset because Facebook’s mobile apps run on iOS and Android, his success heavily dependent on Apple and Google, two companies whose priorities are often diametrically opposed to his. Apple’s changes to “application tracking transparency” this year, for example, have taken a heavy toll on Facebook’s advertising business by making it harder for the company to collect data on mobile activity. users. And if smartphones remain the dominant means by which people interact online, Facebook will never truly control its own destiny.
Understanding Facebook Papers
A struggling tech giant. The leak of internal documents by a former Facebook employee provided intimate insight into the operations of the covert social media company and renewed calls for better regulation of the company’s wide reach in the lives of its users.
Mr. Zuckerberg has been talking about the strategic advantages of the Metaverse since at least 2015, when he wrote to his lieutenants that “we must succeed in creating both a major platform and key applications to improve our strategic position on the next platform. -form “.