After decades of spectacular “move fast and break things” growth, Zuckerberg’s empire is now looking a little fragile. Meta’s share price has fallen by more than 70% this year. Moneyspinners Facebook and Instagram are losing market share and Gen Z users to fresher rivals like TikTok and Snapchat. Apple’s changes to data privacy last year also decimated revenues – its introduction of an “ask not to track” option on iPhones has effectively starved Facebook of the lucrative data it uses to target ads.
Meanwhile, Meta has invested a staggering $100bn on metaverse research and development to date, $15bn in the past year alone – with apparently little to show for it. Zuckerberg’s newfound metaverse obsession could be seen as a preemptive virtual land grab for what is generally agreed to be the future of the internet….