Facebook isn’t doing so hot. The combined powers of a massive document leak and a whisteblower whistleblowing have shed new and disturbing light on a company already seen by many as detrimental for society. It’s gotten so bad that the company is actually doing something. First, they’re launching something called the “metaverse.” Now, as per Insider, on a third-quarter earnings call — during which they assured investors they’re still a money-gobbling machine — co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg pitched a radical new direction for the company. It just happened to sound a lot like what it was initially.
On the call, Zuckerberg — who started the company with Eduardo Saverin and others while they were undergrads at Harvard — said that the social media giant would start “serving young adults the North Star, rather than optimizing for the larger number of older people.” Their target demographic would move from all ages — or at least your cousins who are bad at spotting conspiracy theories — towards ages 18 through 29.
Part of the shift would include a pivot to video. The plan involves ramping up Reels, the video feature on Instagram, which they purchased in in 2012. Since its launch last year, Reels has been a clear attempt to do battle with TikTok, the video service that has transfixed Gen-Z and which survived an assassination attempt last year by then-president Donald J. Trump. Zuckerberg has called TikTok “one of the most effective competitors we’ve ever faced.”
Zuckerberg also wanted to target teenagers. Among the many damning details in the leaked or whistleblown intel was that company employees know Instagram been deemed detrimental to teens’ mental health.
Over the last few years, Facebook had moved from a youth-oriented service to one accused of brainwashing their parents and grandparents. The service has been a bastion of misinformation, and among the revelations was that the powers-that-be had altered algorithms to favor more explosive (and often simply incorrect) content. So perhaps your uncle who believes nonsense about vaccines may have to get his misinformation elsewhere. But then, it seems like a certain former president is already working on that.