The world is changing and we will have to change too. Tuesday Adam Mosserinumber one of Instagramthus baptized the end of the era of social networks as they were conceived.
Except then do a partial reverse yesterday evening and after the protests of some illustrious users, such as the Kardashian sisters and Chiara Ferragni, for the way in which the app is turning into a TikTok clone. Mosseri announced to the American journalist Casey Netwon the need to reorganize and understand how we want to move forward.
But let’s go in order. On Wednesday, Meta’s quarterly report recorded the first drop in revenues in the history of the giant: by 1%, from April to June 2022 compared to 2021, to 28.8 billion dollars. Net profit fell 36%, to 6.7 billion.
In February, another minus sign had sounded the alarm bell, and caused the share value to drop by 40% in the past six months: the first decline in daily Facebook users.
What is happening? The answers are there and have been reiterated on the occasion of the presentation of the company’s accounts. Zuckerberg and number two resigning Sheryl Sandberg, who will be replaced by Susan Li, have pointed to an economic recession that will have a large impact on the digital advertising business – and has also affected the quarterly reports of Alphabet and Snap – and Apple’s changes that limit the collection of user data. Displaying long-term optimism, while the forecasts for the next few months remain gloomy, they added that periods like this in the past have ended positively thanks to transformations or new formats, such as the possibility of moving users from advertisements to chats with companies. in messaging apps, already used by 40% of advertisers.
The future will be characterized by fewer resources, in terms of investments and staff. And from renewed platforms, almost distorted. The success and pervasiveness of TikTok they have in fact imposed the transformation of Facebook and Instagram, the real problem of which is confirmed to be the potential growing disaffection of users. In fact, in the quarter in question, the time spent on Reel of the two apps grew by 30%. And the Reels are the short editable videos inspired by (copied) by TikTok, which now need to be monetized – for now they’re worth a billion a year.
But not only a question of format: the revolution, or tiktoktization, concerns the flow and selection of content. Both Facebook, which will have two separate feeds, and Instagram, which was testing a new interface, now frozen by Mosseri, will offer us with the help of artificial intelligence an ever-increasing number of content published by people and accounts we do not know and do not know. we follow. already so in 15% of cases. And that percentage will double by 2023, Zuck said. On Instagram it will take a little longer, after Mosseri’s braking, because when you discover something in the feed that you’ve never seen before you should be happy to see it, and I don’t think it’s happening right now. We need to take a step back and improve, explained the manager.
Sooner or later, the direction is that: in the run-up to TikTok, the platforms created to let us stay in touch with friends and acquaintances and peek at their expressions and photographs seem destined to become a sort of engaging micro-TV without programming, head or tail. For exchanges with our network of contacts there are and will continue to be mainly messaging apps. And Meta has a couple of relevant ones, Whatsapp and Messenger, which it also focuses on to meet the needs of advertisers, as we said before.
For Zuckerberg the huge opportunity to make (new) real money – hundreds of billions of dollars, if not trillions, over time – remains the metaverso. Which at the moment is above all a cost: in the quarter the Reality Labs unit of Meta lost 2.8 billion.