As Meta’s income melts, Zuckerberg is cleaning up… by copying TikTok

For the first time, Mark Zuckerberg’s company has seen its quarterly revenue decline. Restructuring of Instagram, downsizing, imitation of TikTok… To stay the course, the company is chaining big announcements. And the contradictions.

Meta taps and skates. Not really surprising, the news is mostly symbolic: Meta has seen a drop in sales for the first time in its history. This Wednesday, the company, which combines Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp, among other things, announced quarterly sales that fell by 1%. It now stands at $28.8 billion. Net income plummeted 36% and was estimated at around $6.7 billion. Mark Zuckerberg, the big boss, has already decided to tighten his belt: “We need to do more with fewer resources”he regretted.

Difficult to say, in front of his sad pout of the day, that the former Harvard geek triumphed barely a year ago. In the middle of the summer of 2021, he enthusiastically prophesied: In five years his company would become that of the metaverse. The concept ? Make accessible, through virtual and augmented reality, a world built in pixels where everyone could work, go shopping, meet friends … A very surprising proposition for a billionaire who until then seemed very boring next to the troll Elon Musk of the Tesla boss and the occult Jack Dorsey, the co-founder of Twitter. And yet the idea garnered its share of enthusiastic supporters, making the term “metaverse” the tech buzzword of the year.

The irony is very real now: It’s the same futuristic fad that’s – in part – draining the company’s accounts. The Reality Labs division responsible for the project actually lost $2.8 billion during the quarter. A result that is all the more thorny given that Mark Zuckerberg has put a large portion of his pawns on his vision. Billions were spent, thousands of workers displaced and new faces like his friend Andrew Bosworth pushed forward.

TikTokization of Facebook

However, the metaverse remains embryonic and may wait a little longer before seeing the light of day. Just Wednesday, the Federal Trade Commission filed an injunction to stop Meta from buying a virtual reality company, Within, and thereby nipping a potential competitor in the bud. “Meta could have chosen to try and compete with Within on the matter” Instead of buying it, the cop pinged American markets. Just as he could have done with the Occulus VR headset company acquired in 2014. Or that of WhatsApp, acquired in the same year.

Besides the Metaverse, Meta’s fall has two other explanations. The first pointer from Apple. According to specialist media The edge, the company suffers from the implementation of the “Ask app to track” feature on iPhones, which prevents the network from sharing user data for advertising purposes. $10 billion would have been lost last year. A number that may have been unearthed by advertisers’ reluctance in the face of the current economic slowdown.

Second explanation: TikTok. With its “discovery algorithm”, which confronts its users with personalized content found by machines, the Chinese application plays in the top league with one billion active Internet users per month. So much so that some of his comrades have already decided to copy his formula. YouTube has thus integrated the unloved YouTube Shorts, very short video formats (comedy, artistic, gaming, etc.) that are very much inspired by those of TikTok. And Zuckerberg is on the same path, to the detriment of the very spirit of his box.

The 38-year-old entrepreneur is conducting a massive overhaul of his networks, with big hits from TikTokization. Embracing the principle of the “discovery algorithm,” the CEO announced that Facebook’s newsfeeds would consist more of recommended posts and not already-followed accounts. An idea that breaks with the founding principle of Facebook: a page that brings people together who already know each other by showing them content produced by their relatives. That there is a contradiction for Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t matter. The main thing here is to improve “Obligation” users as well as the “Quality of [leur] flow”.

Employees “who shouldn’t be here”

TikTokization is also at work on Instagram. On Tuesday, Adam Mosseri, the network’s head, announced that the platform would give videos called “reels” a growing place. Unacceptable for some influencers, like reality TV stars Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner, who prompted the manager to do so “repeat instagram instagram”, a social network dedicated to photography. Meta ignores these protests and insists: According to Zuckerberg, the use of videos has increased the number of daily users on Facebook by 3% (1.97 billion). For the CEO, there’s no doubt: reels could become a major revenue stream very quickly.

Earnings that some meta employees may never see. Because with his redesign, Mark Zuckerberg also plans to cast his workforce. With 84,000 employees worldwide, the company has increased its workforce by 32% compared to 2021. An explosion that results in particular from the simultaneous launch of a large number of projects.

From now on, the foosball atmosphere in the Californian premises is over: the hiring rate will fall, the work rate will rise. Goodbye cool start-up attitude, hello dad capitalism. A shift typified by the change in tone of the leader. Which suggests his empire would have to do it henceforth “work with increased intensity”Mark Zuckerberg would have appealed to his managers in July in a note consulted by the New York Times to the “Think of each team member and the added value they bring”. “If a direct employee is idle or underperforming, they’re not the one we need.”cut the memo. At another meeting he even said: “I think some of you might decide this place isn’t for you, personally I’m fine with self-selection.”. Before adding: “In reality, there are probably a lot of people in the business who shouldn’t be here.”.

Kaddouri Ismail

I am Ismail from Morocco, I work as a blogger and online marketer. I am also the founder of the “Mofid” site, in which I constantly publish many important articles in the field of technology, taking advantage of more than 5 years of experience working in the field. I focus on publishing in a group of areas, the most important of which are programming, e-marketing, digital currencies and freelance work.

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