Facebook Inc.

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Hi Weijian,

This is a complex matter and need to be seen in context.

IMHO, Facebook's recent name change is motivated by many issues.

(1) It's a distraction for their many scandals and poor reputation of the "Facebook" brand name. It's not the first time Facebook used this tactic: IGTV (failed) -> Reels; Libra (failed) -> Diem; Calibra (failed) -> Novi

(2) Facebook did it from a position of weakness. They have tried, but failed to gain traction to create a social media platform for younger audiences. IG been losing ground with younger users to other platforms such as TikTok, Snapchat, and YouTube in the last couple years: https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/ne...-a/610376/

This will start to seriously impact both top and bottom line growth, in a few years, as the demographic of their monetizable user base change. 

(3) Apple's new privacy policy has hurt their cross app/website tracking, limiting the effectiveness of their targeted ads: https://www.macrumors.com/2021/10/26/app...-earnings/ 

Facebook wants to create an own it's own platform (like Google's Android and Apple's iOS); hence, they sought to create this, VR-first platform; which they hold an advantage, since they acquired Oculus a while back.

However, the "Metaverse" trend has started, way before Facebook did the name change. Most notably with Minecraft and Roblox: https://debugger.medium.com/the-metavers...9c89ed8ba2

Unlike traditional gaming with limited user freedom and shelf-life. "Metaverse" games focuses on User-generated Content (UGC). Where users are not only able to interact with in-game Universe and other users on the platform. They are also able to freely create their own UGC, and even monetize them. They can monetize their creations directly, like they can with Roblox and Minecraft, or indirectly through YouTube and Twitch for other games. 

These gaming Metaverse platforms are their own ecosystems, users spend time creating content on it, and spend time with one another on it through their digital avatar (digital "co-experience"). I believe, due to technological advancement, and the pandemic, such platforms has reached critical mass of adoption. As users on such platforms increase, game developers and content creators (Youtube and Twitch streamers) also flocked to these platforms, improving the content variety and quality (ie flywheel effect): https://digitalnative.substack.com/p/rob...e-building 

Also, brands are also starting to flock to these platforms as they are creating their own content/virtual "experiences" on it, and are getting much better engagement compared to traditional advertising: https://www.marketingsociety.com/empower...know-about

So the emergence of the Metaverse (interactive 3D digital worlds where people spend long duration of their time on) is actually a competitive threat to Facebook. As they both steal younger users away from Facebook's traditional, passive-consumption social media platform; as well as advertising dollars.

This is Facebook's defensive attempt to pivot themselves away from their maturing social media business that is facing increasing competition and regulatory scrutiny; to a more burgeoning business of the "Metaverse" with lot's of potential growth ahead of it. 

IMHO, Facebook do not understand the Metaverse, nor do they understand what users (especially younger users) want. Mark Zuckerberg is a great businessman, but not the best innovator, nor leader (many high-profile founder-employees have left Facebook over the years, including Kevin Systrom, Brian Acton, and more recently David Marcus). The last innovative product they made was Facebook Marketplace. They will ultimately fail in their attempt to create a VR-First Metaverse that users (especially younger users) actually care about, and will spend time on. 

Just my 2c. I have only briefly scratched the surface of the Metaverse trend, and I might be completely off base with my assessment of the situation. And as a Roblox investor, I'm of course biased.
“If you buy a business just because it’s undervalued, then you have to worry about selling it when it reaches its intrinsic value. That’s hard. But if you can buy a few great companies, then you can sit on your ass. That’s a good thing.” - Charlie Munger
time and again i've been super impressed by facebook's ability to execute in the face of so much distrust and hate. and yes they have had failures as some mentioned above but on balance i have to hand it to the team. i think there's already a kind of facebook universe represented by their users and the strong grip on the digital advertising market they have. i recall (was it last year?) that for a month or two there was some boycott of facebook advertising by big brands (unilever, p&g etc) for cant-remember-what-social-issue and basically facebook's revenues barely budged. the existing facebook universe is a differentiating factor that other big ambitious players dont have and perhaps they are trying to morph that into a metaverse? maybe that was attempted through occulus/horizons having to use facebook logins?

on the Metaverse, a tad idealistic but i would like to see the facebook, roblox, minecraft etc metaverses (small m) merge and form a Metaverse (big M) someday. that would be cool, and maybe ownership issues would add some points to the decentralization argument. in any case, whether Metaverse or metaverse, the surface area for commerce increases and that represents growth and would be overall a good thing for these companies.
The Next Generation of Social Networks: Games, Roblox, and More | Andrew Chen | The Tim Ferriss Show

A nice little introduction about the Metaverse, ie the next generation of social networks.
“If you buy a business just because it’s undervalued, then you have to worry about selling it when it reaches its intrinsic value. That’s hard. But if you can buy a few great companies, then you can sit on your ass. That’s a good thing.” - Charlie Munger
(02-12-2021, 11:18 AM)weijian Wrote: The metaverse doesn't look like a thing for boomers and millennials. It doesn't even seem possible for Gen Z. But it could be possible for the next generation after Gen Z.

I've already lived in the metaverse, and it was a little sad

Alex and misterwrong have something in common. Neither is here to be the real versions of themselves, working real jobs, tied to real constraints and obligations. If the real-verse had everything they wanted, they wouldn't need a meta one.


Philip Rosedale, Founder of 2nd Life talking about what he would do differently if he had a 2nd chance at 2nd life.

Bill, the alfa VC, talking down on Meta and how different he thinks the metaverse should be.

Bill Gurley and Philip Rosedale - Back to the Future


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