MEXICO CITY, October 26 (EL UNIVERSAL) .- In the midst of a series of reports that indicate that Facebook has misled shareholders, about the significant drops in adolescents and younger users on the platform, the CEO of the company Mark Zuckerberg noted that the firm was “restructuring” to “serve young adults,” who are its top priority.
–Facebook plans to make “significant changes”
To do so, the company plans to make “significant changes” to its Facebook and Instagram applications, and spend billions of dollars building its vision of a “metaverse.”
Citing increased competition from TikTok and iMessage, Zuckerberg said the company would do more to win over “young adult” users between the ages of 18-29, even if it was at the expense of older users.
Speaking during the company’s third-quarter earnings call, he said the company’s TikTok rival Reels would be “as important to our products as Stories.”
“We also expect to make significant changes to Instagram and Facebook next year to lean even more towards video and make Reels a more central part of the experience,” said Zuckerberg.
— Younger users, a problem for Facebook
On top of that, he said the company was “restructuring” internally to make young people its “North Star.” He added that the change “will take years, not months.” The younger user problem has been especially difficult for the company.
A whistleblower disclosures about Facebook’s internal investigation into adolescent mental health sparked a series of congressional hearings on child safety and a wave of headlines about how the photo-sharing app may be harmful to some of its older users. vulnerable.
At the same time, other internal documents have indicated that Facebook and Instagram have faced significant declines in teen and young adult engagement over the years.
— The metaverse of Facebook
Zuckerberg said another top priority for the company would be to develop its vision of a “metaverse.” He did not comment on reports that the company would change its name to reflect its new focus on augmented reality and virtual reality, but made it clear that the company has significant ambitions in the space.
“Our goal is to help the metaverse reach one billion people,” he said. He added that a metaverse could allow “hundreds of billions of dollars in digital commerce.”
The company also said Monday that it will report two financial data sets in the future: one for its “family” of apps, which includes Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp; and one for its Reality Labs division that oversees its virtual and augmented reality work.
In a statement, Facebook said that its 2021 earnings will be reduced by $ 10 billion due to its investment in Reality Labs, and that the company will only increase its spending on AR and VR in the coming years.
Zuckerberg also addressed ongoing disclosures stemming from the “Facebook Papers,” a series of articles based on documents provided by former employee-turned-whistleblower Frances Haugen.
The CEO referred to the work of a consortium of news organizations as “a coordinated effort to selectively use leaked documents to paint a false image of our company.”
The documents, which have been the basis for more than a dozen stories detailing Facebook’s failed efforts to combat hate speech and other harm, have also been provided to members of Congress and the Securities and Exchange Commission.
“Any honest account should make it clear that these issues are not primarily about social media,” Zuckerberg said. “That means no matter what Facebook does, we will never solve them on our own.”
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Mark Zuckerberg on Facebook and the metaverse