A lot of press coverage this week on Facebook’s corporate name change to Meta. An interview with Mark Zuckerberg at The Verge shows some of the thinking behind the announcement. What do you do when you have billions of customers who are using your service on a platform you don’t control, and where your ability to unlock advertising revenue is controlled by third-party handset providers? You set things in motion so that the next platform is something you have a lot more control over.
I’ve heard a certain amount of reflection from friends – “there’s no way people will spend all their time in a virtual reality”, but that doesn’t even need to be the case. Would your last-century self, reflecting back on Nokia phones in movies, have any concept of how many hours you would now be spending staring back at the black mirror? As long as Facebook is able to increase engagement, and monetise it effectively, that will be enough to keep other competitors at bay.