Facebook’s Myspace Moment

Big Tech has often responded to various charges by saying things like “competition is just one click away” or pointing to how the once-great Myspace faded away in the face of more modern competitors. In fact, they said it so much, I gave it a chapter in 21 Digital Myths. Except now I’m not so sure anymore that it’s a myth.

Last week, 26% of Faceboo… sorry: Meta’s market value was wiped out in a day, the share price dropping from 323 USD to 238. Analysts say it’s the market’s reaction to decrease in number of users and ad revenue. Facebook may be turning into boomer-book when younger users prefer Snapchat, TikTok, Reddit, Twitch and other fonkier services.

The drop in ad revenue is linked to Apple’s change in privacy policy, making it more difficult to track users. It’s easy to feel Zuckerberg’s pain, the fate of his company so much in the hands of the competition. According to one Meta insider this writer spoke with, this may be part of the reason for the focus on VR and “metaverse” – building an independent eco-system. Including cool Ray-Ban shades.

So far, its metaverse prototype hardly lives up to the hype (in the words of gamer site Kotaku “it sucks”). Surely more to come, but it is odd to think that if Facebook was built on connecting people who know each other in real-life and focusing on social activities, can the same recipe be applied to meeting strangers and… going to work?

We’ll see, but perhaps this was not Facebook’s Myspace-moment, but its Second Life-moment.