Meta (meta-universe) was originally Zuckerberg's will to do, in the internal staff called "MMH" is also known as Make Mark Happy project, many employees do not agree with this strategy or do not understand, burning money is very serious, but what gains have not. Now, Meta has to lay off employees to survive after the burnout.
As for why Meta is making a big deal about meta-universe? That's because the performance would not have been ...... as social media, Facebook would have been living on advertising, but the emergence of TikTok has attracted a lot of user attention. The latest news is that TikTok 2022 can dry to $10 billion in revenue (excluding ShakeYin), how much cake is grabbed by Facebook as well as Twitter, Google? Including SnapChat and so on are actually having a bad time, are short video to take away the cake.
But the meta-universe can't save Meta, because the meta-universe won't be a disruptive Internet application like short video and Internet. What Tencent and Ali are doing now is the meaningful "meta-universe", and it is impossible for a super application of meta-universe to appear in the future, and most of those who talk about the concept of meta-universe now are just fooling around.
Also, Musk now finally succeeded in acquiring Twitter, his ambition is not to make Twitter better into a microblog-like platform, but to combine the practices of platforms such as WeChat and TikTok to provide a one-stop Internet service platform similar to small programs, WeChat payments, public numbers, video numbers, how much pressure is this on Facebook? If Facebook continues to be bent on doing meta-universe, it is not impossible to be replaced by Twitter or even become the next Nokia in the future.
Just wait and see, Meta will soon face the barbarians who want to buy it (maybe Musk) and Zuckerberg will probably be taken over. There's not much time left for him to fool around.
In the face of their own development bottlenecks, technology giants "All In" new technology is a response instinct.
A year ago, Facebook changed its name to Meta, All In Meta Universe in a high profile manner. One year later, although most ordinary users still don't know what "meta-universe" is and can't figure out what "meta-universe" has to do with VR/AR, Meta has turned meta-universe from a science fiction word to an industrial concept with its own power. Under Meta's leadership, many technology companies have joined the "metaverse" track, and all VR/AR/software companies have transformed into metaverse companies.
The concept of "meta-universe" is booming, but the final business falls on VR/AR products, and VR/AR has emerged in 2014, including LeTV, HTC and other former giants have high-profile underground "heavy bet". Now, LeTV has fallen, HTC also failed to turn around by VR, the new wave of technology giants continue to dry VR/AR in new bottles.
Shouting "meta-universe", technology giants are dying to VR/AR
Abroad, there is news that Apple's AR glasses are about to come out after many difficulties; domestically, Byte Jump became Meta's most faithful "apprentice", Facebook bought VR equipment maker Oculus at a high price of $2 billion in 2014, and a year ago Byte Jump grabbed PICO from Tencent at a super premium of about 9 billion yuan. Previously, there was news that Tencent wanted to take the game phone maker Black Shark to increase the code of VR/AR, but Tencent held back, which seems to indicate that it holds a wait-and-see attitude towards the meta-universe.
Unlike 10 years ago, today's technology companies have more mature AI technology, faster 5G networks and more digital scenarios in hand, but VR/AR is still facing the embarrassment of a good call but not a good seat.
Meta and Pico recently released their annual flagship products one after another. October 11 Meta released its new VR headset Quest Pro at the developer conference, and Zuckerberg personally appeared to introduce the new features and technical and performance innovations, once again making the bold statement: "The intersection of reality and digital will bring us a new world of applications, and you You will see new worlds rise up." Pico released the PICO 4 which cut off Meta Quest Pro half a month ago.
Compared to PICO 4, Quest Pro starts at a much higher price of $1499.99 (for comparison, iPhone 14 starts at $799), a high price that discourages most people outside of enterprise users and luxury users.
When there is an immediate market for a technology product, price is not the issue that affects its sale. There is no shortage of buyers for the $10,000+ mega-screen TV or the $47,999 Mac Pro. But the biggest problem with VR/AR devices is not price, but demand: who exactly is it going to be sold to? What do people buy it for? How to avoid the end of people buying and still eating dust for a long time?
Byte-hopping-supported Pico burned more than 10 billion, but only in exchange for a few hundred thousand units of sales - according to data from the Gyro Research Institute, the first half of 2022 China's VR headset shipments 605,800 units, of which Pico sales of about 370,000 units. Pico 4 has no significant breakthrough in technology or experience compared to VR headset products on the market, and it still does not have the ability to become a mass consumption product.
Meta performed much better than Pico, with global VR headset shipments of about 6.84 million units in the first half of the year, of which Quest 2 sold about 5.9 million units, taking most of the market share, but the 5.9 million incremental volume was far from enough to make up for the loss of users that Meta was scrambled by short-form video platforms. Six-month sales of 6.84 million units mean it remains niche hardware - about 240 million smartphones will be shipped worldwide in the first half of 2022.
There is no shortage of new concepts in the technology industry, and in the past two years, "next-generation space interaction portal", "digital human/virtual human", "instant avatar/virtual doppelganger" and so on have appeared in the metaverse. New vocabulary, but this can not change the fact that technology companies "shouting meta-universe, but doing the work of AR/VR. As of now, there are still no mass consumer VR/AR products on the market similar to smartphones, and the just-released Quest 2 is hardly changing the fate of the niche, outside the price, its cooperation with Microsoft allows users to use EXCEL, PPT in the VR headset such "selling point features" sounds crazy. Crazy.
Apple, which is good at defining the market, has high expectations, and now there are many news that Apple will launch its first AR glasses in the near future.
Meta wants to turn over by meta-universe, but the capital market doesn't buy it
In saving the old business, Facebook has not built anything, and the big mobile products such as WhatsApp and Instagram are acquired. Although Tencent is facing the challenge of short videos, it has WeChat, a super application that keeps innovating, and has extended the one-stop online service ecology of small programs, WeChat payment, travel shopping, video number, enterprise WeChat, etc. on the basis of keeping the basic plate of users, which has become a "small universe" that actually affects the life and work of users. In 2019, Zuckerberg said he regretted not learning from WeChat earlier, and Facebook has followed WeChat's lead in many places, such as making applications similar to small programs, but with little success.
While consolidating its position on the consumer side, Tencent is putting more effort into landing its industrial Internet strategy and promoting the integration of the digital economy with the real economy. to B cloud computing and other businesses have become its revenue growth point, but Facebook has no decent layout on the B-side and cloud computing.
Facebook has pinned its hopes for a turnaround on the meta-universe, and the name change to Meta was an important move by Zuckerberg to save the company from returning to "center stage", but the capital market did not buy it. Since the name change a year ago, Meta shares fell from $353.83 to $126.25, a one-year drop of 64%. In February and March this year, Meta shares plunged 1/4 after the release of 2021 earnings, shrinking nearly $300 billion in market value, an epic plunge that directly collapsed U.S. stocks, which can be deduced from why Zuckerberg is so eager to promote the company's transformation: the data trend is too bad, not Transformation will only get worse.
Facebook and Zuckerberg's practice of "throwing caution to the wind" is similar to that of many domestic technology companies and their bosses: they fantasize about turning around by new concepts when their performance is not good, and they have "strategically laid out" new tracks. "Auto retail, K12 education, luxury e-commerce, prefabricated dishes of the fun store is one of the examples, they are facing declining core business, always fantasize that in the new track can make a turnaround war, booming momentum eventually ended up in disgrace.
Meta's internal "disintegration", Zagrebak will be bleeding?
If the whole team is united, even a company as miserable as New Oriental will have a chance to turn around. In addition to external factors such as weak stock price and market competition, the bigger problem in front of Zagerberg is the internal disintegration of the military: the All In meta-universe approach has not formed a consensus within Meta, and many employees and even executives do not understand or support Zagerberg's idea.
The New York Times recently interviewed more than a dozen Meta (former) employees to reveal the resistance to Zagerbork's push to get the metaverse strategy off the ground in the past year, and the reality of the Meta metaverse business may be much tougher than some of the tech media are reporting, here are some excerpts.
1. Many employees are complaining that the frequent strategic shifts are not planned consistently and may be just a whim of Zuckerberg. A poll of 1,000 Meta employees conducted by the anonymous social network Blind in May showed that only 58% people were aware of the company's metaverse strategy. Inside Meta, some employees refer to the metaverse project as "MMH," a project to "make Mark Zuckerberg happy.
2, this year, in his personal Facebook page posted on the Horizon Worlds avatar screenshot encountered group ridicule, Zuckerberg was very frustrated, asked the relevant team to redesign his avatar, in fact, the design of these avatars is not easy, a Meta graphic artist in a LinkedIn post revealed that he and his team in 4 weeks to design about 40 versions of Zuckerberg avatar, and finally approved.
In September this year, Vishal Shah, the vice president in charge of Meta's metaverse division, wrote on an internal message board that he was disappointed with the small number of Meta employees using Horizon Worlds: "Why is it that we can't even use our own products without liking them and using them all the time? Why can't we even develop our own products without liking them and using them all the time? If we don't like it ourselves, how can we expect our users to like it?"
4. Some executives have different opinions. John Carmack, former CTO of Facebook-acquired Oculus and now a Meta consultant, publicly stated in August that the scale of Meta's metaverse bet made him "uncomfortable at the thought of spending so much money." "Meta's metaverse development is hampered by a variety of factors, such as the bureaucracy of large corporations and concerns about issues such as diversity and privacy." The 2021 earnings report shows that Meta's AR/VR division lost $10 billion.
When I visited Facebook, Zuckerberg did not have his own office but worked with his employees in a crowded office, and the Facebook meeting room was transparent. However, today's Zuckerberg seems to have become very dictatorial, at least in the matter of meta-universe some bent. According to the New York Times, Zuckerberg has sent a clear message to Meta employees: get in or get out.
At a meeting in June, the 38-year-old billionaire noted that "there are probably a bunch of people who shouldn't be in the company" and that he would "ratchet up the pressure" on expectations and goals. Since then, the company has frozen most hiring and cut its budget, and Zuckerberg has asked managers to identify underperforming employees. (Compiled by 36kr from NYT report)
As a result, many employees were "forced to pay attention to the metaverse" and started to try to meet on Meta's metaverse products, for example.
Any business transformation is difficult, reform is bound to face great resistance, but in the matter of metaverse, Zuckerberg may really be a little too eager. Although many technology companies are aware that "metaverse is the future", at least the following issues are still outstanding.
1、What is the difference between metaverse and VR/AR? Is it old wine in a new bottle?
2. Can the metaverse become a new form of digital application in the end? What Facebook wants is a result, the next generation Internet that is as parallel as the Internet, but many companies think that metaverse is just a process, that is, the integration of the real world and the digital world, and many technology companies today are doing digitalization, industrial intelligence, Internet+, digital-real integration and even Internet business, which essentially have the attributes of metaverse. "The process is the result", and they do not deliberately pursue a meta-universe product form.
3, today about the meta-universe of many applications of the idea is masturbation no demand, such as "virtual doppelganger to the meta-universe meeting to work", in this case, the enterprise hired staff why? 3D virtual image can make the meeting a little more interesting, but is not necessary.
4. Even if Meta-Universe can become a brand new application, is the time ripe enough? Will Meta, which invests tens of billions of dollars every year, be too early to catch a late start?
Meta-universe is not the first time Facebook wants to enter a new track. When Facebook launched GraphSearch, a social search concept, to overturn Google, it did not make any waves in the search market; later, when cell phones emerged, Facebook launched Facebook Home (similar to MIUI) to make a difference at the system level, but no cell phone manufacturers bought it; then it focused on VR, drones, etc., all with little success.
The technology industry at home and abroad has a similar phenomenon: once a company encounters difficulties in transition, it is likely to bang like a headless fly. Technology companies have an innate sense of crisis about technology. Technology giants can become giants often because they have eaten a certain wave of technological dividends. They are afraid in their bones that a new technology will give rise to their own disruptors, so they will not sit back and watch any new technology, even if they are not as fervent as Meta in All In, they will still keep an eye on it and actively explore it first before choosing an opportunity to enter.
The growth curve of new technology is often long again, more difficult to control than whether to enter is when to enter. Domestic, Baidu when faced with the disruptive impact of the mobile Internet on search engines, focus on AI technology and intelligent cloud, intelligent driving and other industrial scenarios, after 10 years of cultivation gradually opened up the situation, but as of now, in addition to intelligent cloud to bring real money, intelligent driving still has not ushered in the harvest season; HTC in the face of the decline of smartphone business focus on VR, but it failed to wait for the meta-universe wave, up The company has started a big morning but caught a late show.
Now Byte Jump, Meta, and other giants are re-investing in the meta-universe, but the meta-universe, VR/AR, etc. are just icing on the cake for a growth-oriented company like Byte Jump, because it has sufficient funds and room for maneuver, and even if this wave completely steps out, it won't hurt the bones, but for Meta, the meta-universe is just like a backwater battle. Can Zuckerberg's new world rise up from the ground? The time left for him is not much.