22nd February 2024 4:39 pm
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As Meta flounders, Zuckerberg dreams of neural interfaces for Metaverse

  • Meta is not doing well compared to this time last year with revenue down four percent.
  • This dip in revenue comes as a result of multiple factors, including foreign exchange rates.
  • Mark Zuckerberg has proposed a neural interface as an input for the Metaverse.

Meta, the company that owns WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram, released its financial report for the the third quarter of the year.

Revenue is down four percent from $29 billion in Q3 2021 to $27.7 billion this quarter. This, Meta says, is down to foreign exchange rates fluctuating and had they not been, revenue would’ve been $1.79 billion higher.

Meta also still blames Apple’s App Tracking Transparency for a decline in its revenue, but says that this “headwind” diminished this quarter.

While Meta served 17 percent more advertising across its family of apps, the revenue generated was 18 percent lower when compared to the same quarter in 2021.

“(Advertising) Impression growth was driven by Asia-Pacific and Rest of World. The year-over-year decline in pricing was primarily driven by strong impression growth, especially from lower monetizing surfaces and regions, foreign currency depreciation and lower advertiser demand,” explained chief financial officer at Meta, Dave Wehner.

These exchange rate fluctuations are expected to persist into the next quarter and represent a headwind of approximately 7 percent.

Zuck is upset we mock his innovations

Of course, a Meta financial briefing wouldn’t be complete without address the $10 billion elephant in the room, the Metaverse. Sorry we mean Meta’s Metaverse.

Founder Mark Zuckerberg is still pushing ahead with the idea that folks want to work and socialise in virtual spaces where he can serve advertising to them. Only now, he wants to add your brain to the mix.

While explaining the various platforms the metaverse is being built on, Zuckerberg dropped the idea that as regards input something like a neural link is required.

“We think by the time that you have glasses, and you’re kind of walking down the street with glasses, you’re not going to have controllers with that, you’re not going to want to have your hands kind of like hovering in the air, and you’re not always going to want to talk to the thing, even though that’s going to be one way that we use them a bunch of the time. Sometimes you’re going to want something that’s more private,” said Zuckerberg during an earnings call.

“So we think that having a discrete way to basically communicate with the device is going to be critical. And that’s also an area where, as far as I can see, the research that we’re doing is really leading here. So it’s a pretty big surface,” he added.

Something about giving a massive social media company – which makes its money on advertising – access to your brain, feels like a bad idea. If anything, this makes us even more hesitant to use Meta’s Metaverse. Not that we can afford the R15 000 headset needed to access these worlds in the first place.

The Zuck also spent time explaining that we shouldn’t be so quick to mock his creations.

“I know that sometimes when we ship a product, there’s a meme where people say, ‘Hey, you’re spending all this money, and you’ve produced this thing,’ and it’s — I think that that’s not really the right way to think about it. I think there’s a number of different products and platforms that we’re building where we think we’re doing leading work that will become — launching consumer products and then eventually mature products at different cadences in different periods of time over the next 5 to 10 years. And in all of these areas, I think the teams are making very good progress. And I think that this will be fundamentally important for the future,” the Meta founder said.

This feels very much like a reference to the absolute dragging Meta received when Zuckerberg shared this image from his $10 billion investment.

Mark Zuckerberg in Horizon Worlds standing in front of the Eiffel Tower and a Temple
Source: Mark Zuckerberg.

And being berated isn’t slowing Zuckerberg down.

“I think that this is going to be a very important thing, and I think it would be a mistake for us to not focus on any of these areas, which I think are going to be fundamentally important to the future. So we’re going to try to do this in a way that is responsible and matches the way that the rest of the business is growing over time,” he said.

With that having been said, we do wonder how long Meta and its investors will play along with Zuckerberg. According to TechCentral, however, investors are seemingly already fed up with a stock dump wiping $67 billion off of Meta’s market value in after hours trading.

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