Wiser! #65: Facebook are in the wars. As the share price is down a third and regulators line up to take them on, Zuckerberg unveils new company values. Plus: TikTok's attention economy and NFTs Part 2.
Increased headwinds for Facebook
BackStory: It's been a turbulent couple of weeks for MetaFacebook. The stock has taken a thrashing since the disasterous earnings call 2 weeks ago. Now Google has put boot in by declaring it will follow Apple in banning ad tracking.
SoWhat?: Assuming the bears on Wall Street are correct, Meta's ad business has reached its peak. Which goes along way to explaining the pivot and rebranding to Meta!
Meta, Metamates, Me
NewValues: Meanwhile, The Zuck has told Facebook staff about six of the company's updated values. The values include 'move fast', 'focus on long-term impact', 'build awesome things', 'live in the future' and 'be direct and respect your colleagues'.
The 6th and last of the new values is simply, 'Meta, Metamates, Me', a reference to the Navy phrase 'Ship, shipmate, self'.
P-leeease! The glaring omission, IMHO, was this as a value, 'don't build things that can harm people, be exploited by bad people or puts profits before people.'
In other MetaFacebook news...
🍪 Meta to pay $90 million settlement for tracking users after they had logged off Facebook.
🕵️♀️ Texas sues Facebook claiming its use of facial recognition technology violated privacy rules.
👮♀️ Anticipating the onslaught that's coming its way, MetaFacebook has elevated the role of former UK Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, to be the face of Facebook in front of lawmakers (so that The Zuck doesn't have to be).
📰 “News Feed” has been changed to just “Feed.” Clearly, the use of the word "news" was a trade description breach.
TikTok nudges our attention span upwards
BackStory: TikTok is rolling out the ability to post five minute videos. Remember that it was only a year ago they increased video length to 3 minutes.
TikTok's own data suggests an interesting pattern is emerging: that users are spending longer watching each video. It shows that the average suggested video length on TikTok doubled to around 21-34 seconds in late 2021 from 11-17 in 2020. This is despite TikTok research that shows almost half (49.2%) of users think "videos longer than 1 minute are stressful". TikTok also reports that around a third of users (34.4%) watch longer videos at double speed. Users already spend an average of 85 minutes a day on the addictive app.
"People have a lot of choices for how they want to spend their time, and apps like TikTok are growing very quickly," CEO Mark Zuckerberg told AFP News.
SoWhat?: It's all about getting and holding onto your attention. Right now, there is NO social media platform that can compete with TikTok when it comes to commanding your attention.
The reason is "Social Commerce", a $40 billion industry in the West and almost $400 billion in China! Exploiting the overlap between what a brand wants to say and what the audience want to hear. In the case of TikTok, they are defining what audiences want to hear. Take this example...
The brand is Arc'teryx and the product is waterproof jackets. Last year, Arc'teryx started a trend that went viral. Users video themselves in the shower in one of their waterproof jackets. The hashtag #arcteryx has already clocked up over 111 million views. That's free publicity and brand awareness for the company with a name you can't pronounce!
What'sNext? The other area to watch with TikTok is its impact on the music industry. TikTok appeals to a Gen Z demographic who are listening to their favourite artists for free. Moving to 5 mins just means that artists can hold their attention for even longer.
Why ship the music videos for free? Because of Social Commerce. In the videos, artists can promote products and things to buy, reaching and influencing their followers who are not on Facebook.
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The intoxicating power of status is fuelling growth in NFTs (Part 2)
BackStory: NFT prices are being fuelled by Status and Scarcity. It's more than just speculating for a huge pay day, NFTs are about bragging rights. And access to a closed community. Sprinkle a limited supply and, voila, you have a $40 billion market!
The Bored Ape Yacht Club is a collection of 10,000 ape avatars that individually act as tickets to an online social club.
STOP. Let me draw your attention to what I just said. The NFTs act "as tickets to an online social club."
Buying a Bored Ape NFT gets you entry "into the Yacht Club", which comes with status. Remember, there's something intoxicating about status. Just look at Apple who have built a business out of it selling $500 worth of chips and sensors for $1200 and calling it an iPhone (think: scale of Toyota and margins of Ferrari).
In December, I wrote a piece about Gary "Vee" Vaynerchuk. The self-titled "thinkfluencer" and self-promoting social media personality who claims to have made over $90m in 90 days from making and selling his own collection of NFTs. These hand drawn sketches are child-like and would look at home on the wall of a pre-school nursery.
But here's the thing. Vaynerchuk created the illusion of an exclusive club called VeeFriends. Entry to the club isn't cheap, thereby giving it exclusivity. Exclusivity gives it status. Status comes with bragging rights...
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w/Snippets of Insight and Information
🍔 McDonald’s to open restaurants in the Metaverse
The company has filed a patent with the US Patent and Trademark Office for a ‘virtual restaurant featuring home delivery’. The concept is that MacDonald's customers would meet up to eat real food in a virtual world (assuming you accept the premise that MacDonald's food is real). Source: Inc.com
📺 YouTube to allow creators to sell videos as NFTs
YouTube has unveiled a new suite of creator tools. The so what? in this story is monetisation. Today, YouTubers make the videos and YouTube makes the money. However, the trend is towards content creators having greater control over monetising the stuff they create. That's where NFTs come in. Remember the video of "Charlie Bit My Finger"? The YouTube sold for over $750k as an NFT. Sources: NBC News, BBC News (More about NFTs here)
🪙 KPMG buys Bitcoin and Ethereum
KPMG Canada announced that they have added both Bitcoin and Ether to their balance sheet. KPMG is positioning themselves to help other companies buy Bitcoin, sending another strong signal for Bitcoin acceptance and adoption. Source: BNN Bloomberg
😇 AI-generated faces appear more trustworthy than real ones
This is the conclusion from researchers at the University of Lancaster. They asked a human study group to rate faces for trustworthiness. Half the faces were from real people, the other half had been created by AI. The AI faces scored higher! One explanation is that they are closer to average faces, which are consistently rated as more trustworthy. Source: Lancaster University
🎗 Elon Musk gives $5.7 billion worth of Tesla shares to charity
According to the latest company filings, the world's richest man has made one of the largest philanthropic donations in history, putting him second on the list of top donors of 2021 behind Bill and Melinda Gates (who gave away $15 billion). The report did not say where the donation went, but Elon Musk has previously said that he’d give $6 billion to the UN’s World Food Program if they could show how the money would solve world hunger. Source: Wall Street Journal
🚀 Starship, the world's tallest rocket
Meanwhile, Elon Musk has been tweeting pics of Starship, a stainless-steel rocket that stands 50m tall. It is designed to carry heavy payloads into Space, including taking astronauts to the moon or beyond. SpaceX will launch Starship from its Starbase facility using Super Heavy, itself a giant rocket that stands 70 m tall. Source: Space
🚙 Uber predicts arrival times using Deep Learning
Accurate ETAs (estimated time of arrival) are critical to Uber's user experience. Combining accurate mapping software and artificial intelligence, Uber have created an AI platform called DeepETA. Source: Uber Engineering
💍 Meanwhile, Machine Learning predicts marital discord
A study in Germany using machine learning to study the relationships of 2,038 couples over a 12 year period found that "life satisfaction for both partners" and the "woman's percentage of housework" turned out to be the most important predictors of divorce. 45% of the study group split up over the period. Source: Tech Explore
🚔 Tesla driver becomes 1st person to be charged with "vehicular manslaughter"
Meanwhile, autonomous vehicles logged 4 million miles on California's public roads last year, according to the latest figures from the DMV. Source: Spectrum News
🍏 Apple buys a startup that makes music with AI
The London-based startup, called AI Music, was started in 2016 and uses artificial intelligence to generate tailor-made music. The thinking is that the AI music will be used to bulk up Apple’s audio technology. Source: Bloomberg
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