In an interview with Stratechery on October 12, Mark Zuckerberg talked about the rise of TikTok and the fall of Facebook, calling it a sort of missed opportunity.
Mark Zuckerberg said that Meta’s rival TikTok, which he dubbed a “very effective competitor,” succeeded in part because it was unable to foresee significant changes in social media usage.
Zuckerberg said that he “sort of missed” how users currently “interact with discovered content” on social media in an interview with Stratechery on October 12.
Facebook’s founder claimed that rather than only sharing content with friends and family, social media users are increasingly using their “feeds” to find useful stuff.
Even though fewer people are spending time doing it, users of social networking platforms are still interacting with the content that has been posted.
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According to Zuckerberg, social media trends have “by and large shifted to you use your feed to discover content, you find things that are interesting, you send them to your friends in messages and you interact there.”
“So in that world, it is actually somewhat less important who produces the content that you’re finding, you just want the best content.”
Already the beginning of last year, Meta has invested more than $15 billion in its “metaverse” project, but it has since announced nearly $5 billion in losses for the first half of 2022.
In the meantime, Meta was caught off guard by the success of TikTok, a Chinese-owned video app, after failing to foresee how it would transform use of social media.
Zuckerberg said that he was “somewhat slow to this because it didn’t fit my pattern of a social thing, it felt more like a shorter version of YouTube to me.”
Rise Of TikTok And Short Video Content
TikTok’s growth poses a serious danger to Facebook at this point and has surpassed it in popularity, especially among younger users.
The secret to TikTok’s success is its own algorithm, which is excellent at recommending short videos to users based on their viewing preferences and usage history.
Zuckerberg wants Meta to concentrate on creating artificial intelligence so that it can imitate its Chinese rival by proposing a greater variety of content to users for its current apps rather than only showcasing brief clips.
According to Bloomberg, the California-based company is concentrating on enhancing Instagram Reels with its own proprietary AI algorithm as a countermeasure to TikTok.
“Sometimes, I want to watch specifically videos, but a lot of the times, I just want the best stuff,” Zuckerberg commented.
The interview was conducted just after Meta unveiled its highly anticipated $1,500 Quest Pro virtual reality headset last week for use with the so-called “metaverse” of the tech company.
The “metaverse,” which Zuckerberg refers to as a virtual environment where people may work, shop, and socialise, has been the centre of his attention.
In a letter, the CEO asserted that during the next ten years, the “metaverse” will eventually “reach a billion people” and “host hundreds of billions of dollars of digital commerce.”
However, the “metaverse” and its accompanying VR gear have received only a muted response from sceptic investors who claim that the long-term project offers little in the way of immediate benefits.
As the social media platform endures a downturn at home in the United States, Meta, Facebook’s parent company, has witnessed a more than 56 percent decline in stock value this year.
Facebook suffered a setback when Apple modified the iOS operating system to safeguard user privacy, which resulted in $10 billion in lost ad revenue for the company.
According to CNBC, online advertisers are also cutting back on their expenditure, and fewer companies are adding Facebook login buttons to their websites.
“Number of advertising impressions on Facebook are up 14 percent, while users and time spent on the platform are flat. This looks like the start of a death spiral and worsening user experience as they chase ad revenue,” said marketing analyst Chris Curtis on Twitter.
In September, Zuckerberg announced that the tech giant would stop hiring and reorganise some teams as part of its first major restructuring effort after falling to the bottom of the S&P 500 for 2022.
The market value of Meta has dropped from over $1 trillion at its height last year to about $350 billion at the present.
According to CNBC, despite the losses, the IT company still made $6.7 billion in profit and had over $40 billion in cash and marketable securities at the end of the third quarter.