Friday, October 29th 2021

Introducing Meta: A Social Technology Company

Today at Connect 2021, CEO Mark Zuckerberg introduced Meta, which brings together Facebook's apps and technologies under one new company brand. Meta's focus will be to bring the metaverse to life and help people connect, find communities and grow businesses.

The metaverse will feel like a hybrid of today's online social experiences, sometimes expanded into three dimensions or projected into the physical world. It will let you share immersive experiences with other people even when you can't be together — and do things together you couldn't do in the physical world. -It's the next evolution in a long line of social technologies, and it's ushering in a new chapter for the company. Zuckerberg shared more about this vision in a founder's letter.
The annual Connect conference brings together augmented and virtual reality developers, content creators, marketers and others to celebrate the industry's momentum and growth. This year's virtual event explored what experiences in the metaverse could feel like over the next decade - from social connection, to entertainment, gaming, fitness, work, education and commerce. The company also announced new tools to help people build for the metaverse, including Presence Platform, which will enable new mixed reality experiences on Quest 2, and a $150-million investment in immersive learning to train the next generation of creators.

You can watch the full Connect keynote and learn more about how the metaverse will unlock new opportunities at You can also learn more about the company's work over the past several months to develop the Meta brand on its design blog.

Facebook's corporate structure is not changing as Meta. However, how it reports on financials will. Starting with results for the fourth quarter of 2021, the company plans to report on two operating segments: Family of Apps and Reality Labs. Meta also intends to start trading under the new stock ticker that the company reserved, MVRS, on December 1. Today's announcement does not affect how the company uses or shares data.

About Meta
Meta builds technologies that help people connect, find communities, and grow businesses. When Facebook launched in 2004, it changed the way people connect. Apps like Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp further empowered billions around the world. Now, Meta is moving beyond 2D screens toward immersive experiences like augmented and virtual reality to help build the next evolution in social technology.
Source: Meta
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103 Comments on Introducing Meta: A Social Technology Company

RavenasI've already stated at the beginning, algorithms aside there is no difference. Add in algorithms, and its only provides you more prominent posting of things you were already shown to be interested in.

Prominent posts aren't generating revenue, advertisement you see on Facebook is generating revenue and selling your data. The only remotely shady aspect is that your data is being mined and sold, and ads are being targeted based off your data.

Prominent posts causing discussion is only creating reaction, and no revenue.
"Algorithms aside" - as if you can selectively separate out fundamental building blocks of a medium and still make any reasonable claim to authoritative statements describing it? Let me see ... "The visual aspect aside, TV is the same as radio." "Immediacy, technologies involved and multimediality aside, email is the same as snail mail." "Size, number of seats, fixed routes and timetables, advertisements and professional drivers aside, buses are the same as cars."

You see how reductive this is, right? How it wildly skews the comparison? How said skewing is entirely arbitrary, based on the criteria left out? After all, all of these things are comparable, but you're arguing that - and I quote - "there is no difference". This, qiute frankly, is ludicrous. You cannot separate out the algorithmic parts of any modern mass-scale social medium and still claim to speak of it as it exists in the world. You are then speaking of a highly selective subset of the medium that users generally do not interact with, and do not have access to.
RavenasYou’ve bought in to a narrative to draw your conclusion.
And you haven't? You're here arguing as if sorting and promotion algorithms can just be selected out without major consequences to your understanding of a medium that is fundamentally constructed on top of these.
RavenasYour argument is no different than saying we should ban CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and other news outlets for promoting stories that generate attention more, in a negative manner towards one side or the other.
I don't know if you know this, but most countries regulate their media in some way, through either laws, commonly accepted industry practices, or both, in order to ensure journalistic integrity. These systems differ between countries and regions, and some are more successful than others. I could absolutely agree that US mass media are pretty terrible, and frequently use highly speculative and sensationalist rhetorical devices and presentations in order to gain viewers. I would gladly discuss the reasons why this is with you, but as it's getting quite off topic I'll leave it at the very abridged version: (essentially) unregulated for-profit reporting in a predatory capitalist system, and the complete disappearance of the societal responsibility of helping create an informed and educated public as a guiding principle for the media (which is again directly and causally tied to for-profit reporting).
RavenasPosts generate engagement.
User profiles and tracking of likes / dislikes etc. generate data.
Both in combination provide an outlet for targeted advertisement.
Again: and you haven't bought into a narrative? This is an example of willful ignorance par excellence. You are presenting incredibly complex and highly variable relationships between a host of interlocking actors - users; the posts in question: platform owners; platform moderators; all the various components of the platforms including their perceptual aspects, their sorting and promotion algorithms, their data harvesting, and more; other users/the "audience"; ad buyers/post promoters; and many others - and reducing it to "Posts generate engagement". As if this relationship is remotely linear or even predictable. I mean, come on. Do all posts generate similar amounts of engagement? What are the variables in play, and are they the same in all situations? Do they work the same way in all situations? How does paid promotion of posts play into this? How do advertisements in news feed play into this? How does the system gauge engagement? What does "engagement" even mean? Are all types of engagement equal, and are they of equal value to users?
RavenasI’ve never stated otherwise.
But that's the thing: you're presenting such an oversimplified view of this that your takes border on the absurd. You are thus stating otherwise, as you are presenting a caricature of reality while pretending that this is the same as others here are discussing. The fundamental premises for your approach to this discussion are deeply flawed. And that's ignoring how your approach shows a fundamental ignorance of the past century (or even the past couple of decades) of social sciences and media studies.
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