Yesterday (28 October 2021) CEO Mark Zuckerberg introduced Meta, which claims to bring together all the apps and technologies under one new company brand. Meta’s focus will be to bring the metaverse to life and help people connect, find communities and grow businesses. Sounds like [old] Facebook, right? Founded in 2004, Facebook’s mission is to give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together. Not close enough, apparently. Mark Zuckerberg is eager to collide Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and a social experiment, really. His metaverse is like a 3D virtual experience instead of the current scrolling and screen staring, although there will still be a screen and staring.
Mark expects to reach a billion people within the next decade, and claims to create a digital world, in which users will feel like they are with one another and have a “sense of presence” despite being far apart. This may sound terrifying to some of us: parents, minorities, LGBTQIA+ communities, First Nations Peoples, children… how will this extreme virtual closeness affect our mental health, protect minorities from bad intentions and harm, etc? Social media isn’t the safest pace at the moment, and Facebook has not done much to address that.
Also Facebook is currently in the middle of multiple legal battles, navigating numerous negative stories based on documents leaked by an ex-employee. Frances Haugen accused the company of putting “profits over safety”.
“The company’s internal culture prioritised profitability over its impact on the wider world, said Haugen, and “there is no will at the top to make sure these systems are run in an adequately safe way”. She added: “Until we bring in a counterweight, these things will be operated for the shareholders’ interest and not the public interest.”
This doesn’t sound like news to many of us. However, it’s finally in the open forum and discussed in the places outside of angry Facebook comments. Facebook (I mean, Meta!) has been getting away with a lot of bad work for years.
In the midst of it all, some of us feel that Mark Zuckerberg is trying to divert the attention from all the “bad press”. Maybe. We don’t know.
Mark is also a versatile person who continues evolving his technology to remain in business. Maybe it’s also a distraction, maybe a lot of money are at stake, maybe egos are hurt… Facebook has evolved many times (not always for the best!).
During the announcement, Mark laid out Facebook (damn it, I mean Meta!) vision of the metaverse as the successor to the mobile internet – a set of interconnected digital spaces that lets you do things you can’t do in the physical world. What things?
This is a little wage. And I am sure, behind all the marketing lingo, Meta people have a much clearer vision, which we all will sooner or later become (maybe, painfully) aware of.
Also, what does it all mean to you: the user, advertiser, marketer, not for profit, business owner?
I don’t know.
But I know two things for sure:
Things will be changing. Although the apps names, Facebook, Instagram and What’s App, will remain the same, I am anticipating changes for all of us who are leveraging social media technology to share our mission, connect with our community, create more income and impact.
Change can feel uncomfortable. And many of us who has been doing things a certain way for a while may feel the urge to rebel and protest.
And there are many questions. Jon Loomer is asking some of them really well. If someone is immersed in a Virtual World, how might advertising show up? How might that experience be sponsored? How will coaches and educators and public speakers and personalities show up in this world? Will we conduct virtual conferences? Will agencies hold virtual meetings with clients? Will not for profits host virtual fundraisers? Will all this mean more or less transparency, more new technology, etc?
We sort of have been doing some of that already, as many organisations have had to adapt to operate virtually. But Meta is taking us all up a level. And we don’t know yet what level that would be. Prepare yourself for change. Now may be a really good time to talk to the experts you trust.
Although the rebellious princess and a snowman (who doesn’t melt in summer!) from the Frozen II animation film sing a song about relationships and feelings never changing and how they rely on that certainty, I feel like they are up for some disappointment in life. But who am I to judge a romantic Disney film!? That aside, Anna and Olaf are on to something here!
Thankfully, some things never change indeed: loyal communities, genuine connections, ethical and valuable work – those things will continue to matter during the Meta Era (I am coining this!).
Whatever changes are ahead, I am certain that good strategic and ethical work will continue collecting great results as it has been over the last decade of my work with amazing orgaisations.
For those of us who have been creating sustainable and long-lasting outcomes, the change may not be as grand.
All my clients have successfully survived and thrived during multiple Facebook algorithm and Facebook advertising changes and updates, because our social media marketing work is based on their data, their extraordinary effort to create change, loyal community, good intentions and strategic thinking.
No matter how much or fast our technology is evolving, humans remain humans. For now, that is.
I design simple and effective social media campaigns helping gifted not for profits and businesses for purpose leverage their social media technology and loyal community to really power their mission, building more donations and creating more income and impact. My custom work is designed to support your specific goals, setting up your work for long-lasting results and prosperity.
There are many ways you can reach out to see if I am a good fit for your goals.
Check out the Facebook Messanger bubble on the bottom right, contact page on the top and/or a form and a calendar, if this type of communication suits you better.
I look forward to supporting your vision of the future!