Big Tech Tumult Is Deeper Than Just Losing Advertising Dollars


Other attempts at diversification, such as its virtual currency initiative Libra and its plans to launch satellite internet, have also fallen by the wayside for a variety of reasons—ranging from regulatory concerns to viability. Even its express Wi-Fi service, popular in Africa, has seen a quiet winding earlier in 2022.

Interestingly though, the commerce ecosystem that has evolved in Africa around FreeBasics seems to contribute to Facebook’s popularity. Competitive moves by Apple Inc. to take a slice out of Meta’s revenues through its iOS AppStore policies have not helped either. 

However, the biggest challenge for Meta seems to be a generational shift with Facebook and Instagram losing out younger users to TikTok, Discord and Twitch.

The political case being built in the U.S. for a ban on TikTok could have the intended effect of infusing life into Meta’s short video offerings, but clearly the platform has failed to figure out the secret sauce on how to engage the new generation users born in the early 2000s.

The hype around the metaverse has also not helped, with little clarity on viable business models that will spur both user growth and revenue.

On the contrary, it is the interactive gaming platforms that seem to have figured out how to engage the new generation digital users better.

With social gaming and closed peer groups, that are insulated from the politics of algorithms and the polarising debates over manipulating public opinion that have come to define Facebook and Twitter in recent times, these new-age platforms have marked a quiet growth and will likely define the future of the metaverse.

Digital regulations being shaped by different nations will likely accelerate this phenomenon, as legacy technology platforms get impacted the most and the public square that social media sought define becomes increasingly fragmented into tailored, specialised apps and platforms away from the political cacophony.

Billionaire Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter comes at this critical juncture, as the platform seeks to rethink its core advertisement revenue model by charging for premium services, such as verification, amongst other features.

While debate rages on the likely offtake of such a premium service and the price point at which it becomes viable, larger questions remain on Twitter as the public square where news breaks, politicians make public pronouncements and advocacy around issues happens.


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