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The arrival of Mark Zuckerberg

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Mark Zuckerberg has many problems. He has moved away from his Facebook slogan to focus almost entirely on his “metaverse,” the internet’s vision of where people enter interactive virtual spaces using virtual reality (VR) headsets. I’m here. He has pledged to invest at least $10 billion a year over his decade, and investors are said to see diminishing returns over his next decade as a result. He once saw a digital future. Can he repeat tricks?

So far, it doesn’t appear to be the case. His company’s share price halved, blowing him $600 billion from market value. Shareholders are worried. Meta expects to cut costs by at least 10% in the coming months, including through redundancies. Expect more cuts.

Last week’s Meta conference in the Metaverse couldn’t change the mood. The announcement of a $1,499 VR headset and the dramatic introduction of legs for Metaverse avatars did little to convince the market that this really is the future, with Meta’s share price dropping about 25% last month alone. Zuckerberg’s personal fortune has fallen by more than $76 billion so far this year.

Zuckerberg’s vision has obvious problems. Who wants to look at nausea-inducing outdated graphics and put on a clunky virtual reality headset? In a world where most of us use the internet via our mobile phones, is this really the future? ? The numbers suggest otherwise. Meta expected 500,000 monthly active users on its VR platform, Horizon Worlds (accessed with a VR headset), by the end of the year. The current number is less than 200,000. According to leaked internal documents, most people who visit Horizon tend not to return after the first month. Meta and his staff are reportedly unsure about the product themselves. Vishal Shah, Meta’s vice president of metaverse, wrote in a note last month.

Even the few people who think the Metaverse is the future don’t want Zuckerberg in their club. The Metaverse is not meant to be dominated by a handful of tech giants, as happened to his social media. Known in Silicon Valley as “Web 3.0,” the utopian idea is decentralization aided by technologies such as cryptocurrencies and blockchain. His sci-fi writer Neil Stevenson, who came up with the word “metaverse,” is actually part of a rival virtual reality team, creating blockchain-powered “THEE METAVERSE.” There are many others.

Nonetheless, Zuckerberg is betting his home on the Metaverse. Why should I worry about fixing those problems if the ultimate goal is to make them obsolete?

Facebook may have been obsolete for more than a decade, but until recently it maintained an impressive revenue stream thanks to the somewhat questionable part of tracking activity on mobile phones. With the Facebook app, I was able to see elements of what I was doing outside. that app. It has provided useful information for ad targeting on Facebook and others, and has been highly profitable over the years. Then Apple introduced an option to “Ask the app not to track me”. Over 97% of his users opted out of ad tracking, and Facebook’s revenue took a big hit.

Such companies can sometimes seem too big to fail, but in the world of technology, empires can crumble as soon as they are built. Just ask Rupert Murdoch. In 2005, he made $580 million when his MySpace appeared to be the most popular Internet company in the world. Two years later, he had 300 million registered users and a company value of $12 billion. But it was overtaken by Facebook (which launched MySpace a year after him) and then sold to an online advertising company for about $35 million. Change can be brutal when users decide to ditch one platform in favor of another.

Instagram, too, is in trouble because of TikTok. Zuckerberg’s site recently tried to offer a TikTok-like feature for short video “reels.” This kind of copycat tactic worked well for the company when Snapchat became its newest competitor. But this time such an imitation did not work. Users, including the Kardashians, hated his new TikTok-style feed so much that Instagram was forced to revert the change. On the other hand, BeReal, the latest social media app to make headlines, clearly claims itself as an alternative against Instagram. Send notifications at random times of the day and ask them to post a photo no matter what they’re doing. Spontaneity is a reaction to excessive editing of Instagram posts.

Despite being unpopular among techies, Zuckerberg seems ready to leave all this behind in his move to the metaverse. The big question is whether he can build anything responsibly.What does it mean that the Metaverse is not a way to be abused or sexually harassed in virtual reality? wall street journal recently reported that one of our female reporters was asked for exposure by virtual room users when she visited one of Horizon’s most popular virtual worlds, the Soapstone Comedy Club. Currently, Horizon Worlds has a user ratio of 1 female to 2 males, so this kind of behavior can be very common.

Facebook’s problems are widely publicized, from child pornography to jihadist material to election interference and everything in between. It asked Rohingya Muslims to pay more than £150 billion in compensation. That same week, Instagram took center stage at the inquest into the death of British teenager Molly Russell. The 14-year-old left an Instagram post reading “I’m not good enough” before committing suicide in 2017. Action. The coroner documented it as “self-harm while struggling with depression and the negative effects of online content.” I argued quite boldly.

On the surface, WhatsApp might look like a simpler proposition. But the app, which Zuckerberg bought eight years before him for just under $20 billion, is both financially (he hasn’t found a way to monetize it) and politically (end-to-end encryption has led to friction with governments), causing problems. World wide).

The Meta employee I spoke to said he was disappointed that his boss had three of his apps checked out and wasn’t interested in suggestions on how to improve them. A former Meta staffer who worked in Europe said, “It can be very frustrating. It looks like Zuckerberg is trying to do enough to make it look like he’s solving the problem, but really he’s just pushing the problem away from himself.Nick Clegg’s role includes handling the politics of Facebook (currently the number one source of news stories written in the UK), while Facebook, meanwhile, tends to adjudicate more thorny moderation decisions. established a costly and independent oversight board.

Another problem Zuckerberg faces is that once he was able to gain market dominance, he is now being stifled by competition authorities who have a much better grasp of the current size of the meta. It is being done. Such officials are wary of buying potential rivals as Meta has done on Instagram and WhatsApp.British officials this week issued a gif of his not a multi-billion dollar giant. Successfully challenged the acquisition of the company Giphy.

Zuckerberg isn’t even 40 yet, so it’s no wonder he doesn’t feel ready to retire just yet, even with a net worth of $50 billion. His holdings are too big and there is no one in the meta who can force him out. But even though he still seems to need Meta, he hopes to have one more significant achievement in his career, but increasingly Meta doesn’t need him. It is clear.

Four years ago, the Facebook founder expressed his admiration for Augustus Caesar. Zuckerberg went to Rome on his honeymoon (his wife joked that Augustus was the third person on the trip), and one of his daughters is called August, and his bizarre hairstyle is in Augustus’ style. However, as he fiddles with the Metaverse, ignoring the fact that the rest of his empire is crumbling, he’s starting to grow closer to Nero.

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