It’s been about five months since Facebook rebranded its parent company into Meta (opens in new tab) and it has hardly been smooth sailing. Companies like Apple and Google have started to include privacy changes that are really cramping Meta’s business model of tracking as much of your personal data as possible to sell things back to you. Earlier this month the company had already dropped 30% of its stock market share value, and things are only looking worse for Meta.
Apple and Google’s privacy measures that allow users to block Meta’s trackers (opens in new tab) are clearly crippling the company’s revenue, but these trackers were also already responsible for many users turning their back on the platform. Constantly bothered by random or creepily accurate advertising has put many off, but there are even more reasons for the popularity decline. Among younger demographics who prefer other platforms like TikTok, Facebook and other Meta platforms are barely able to get a word in. It’s often seen more as the place that one out of touch relative gets all their misinformation, rather than a cool social media hangout.
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According to New York Mag (opens in new tab), Meta has lost $500B since the name change, though blaming the new name probably isn’t completely fair. It’s the other changes that came with the name, as Zuckerberg appears to be steering the company in a new and somewhat weird direction. The name change to Meta also signified the company’s new direction with a strong focus on metaverse and immersive internet, but it’s not a huge surprise that most people don’t appear to be buying it.
We’ve seen the eerie presentations of not right looking digital worlds (opens in new tab) and worrying capitalist mentality towards these VR landscapes (opens in new tab), and most of us are left shaking our heads. Gamers especially can’t understand why all these worlds look so bad compared to modern games and some pretty high profile game makers can’t even see the point (opens in new tab). It’s a move that’s left many very unsure about Meta’s future, and the results are pretty clear.
If you somehow earned a million dollars a year, it’d take you five thousand working years to get the amount of money that has leaked out of this company over the past five months. In fact, that's not even true it would only get you $5B. That's how ridiculous a number this is. This decline has seen the company fall all the way off the top ten richest companies of the world list. It used to hold the 6th spot but has since fallen behind companies like Tencent and Nvidia to 11th place (opens in new tab).
Sure, Meta is a company with plenty of money to lose and Zuckerberg seems committed to seeing this whole metaverse thing, regardless of how much it costs him. Maybe this gambit on the metaverse will pay off, but it’s hard to see how that’s possible in its current or even near future state. Whether or not Meta and Facebook can survive these weird ambitions remains to be seen.