Mark Zuckerberg Faces Regulatory and Branding Difficulties in the Metaverse Push
Since Facebook's founding in 2004, the platform has been flooded with users with more than 50 percent of the worldwide population. But years after the domination, the company recently has experienced a downfall in its revenue. The fall from 1.93Bn users between July-September last year to 1.929Bn in the 3 months to December was driven by reductions in Latin America, Africa and the US.
The Meta company has also started losing youngsters, which are the key demographic for the adverts, offering 97 percent of the revenue. Moreover, these young users have slowly transitioned to their rival companies such as TikTok and YouTube, making it even harder for Instagram and Meta subsidiaries.
The improved regulatory probe of Meta has all but ruled out one solution to the company's growth: buying another large tech platform. The professor of law at Vanderbilt University - Rebecca Allensworth, said the regulatory outlook for the firm had significantly changed since Facebook bought Instagram for $1Bn.
The company probe is not restricted to its potential acquisitions. Still, infinite public controversies in the past few years guarantee that every move made by Meta is under close review.
With these scandals remaining fresh, regulators and users are ready with another set of questions about privacy, hate speeches, and misinformation when Meta moves into the virtual reality world: The Metaverse.
When Facebook first came, it had little competition, but as digital platforms expanded with several new innovations offering various competitions, Meta entered a crowded industry with established players. Gaming platforms such as Decentraland and Roblox already permitted users to share worlds with one another. Will Meta offer the same or something closer to it?
Past instances do not predict well. Apple attempted to enter the social media world with its platform - Ping, which eventually shut down after 2 years. Google too attempted but failed with its own platform - Google+. Even Meta, when it tried to expand outside the media platform, was forced to shut down its crypto venture - Diem, last month due to repeated regulatory issues. The dramatic twist to the metaverse has frightened investors leading to a stock plummet of more than $230Bn following the recent earning reports.
Image Source: Screenshot taken from MetaIndia