27 min

THE META HEARSE: Is There A Metaverse After Facebook‪?‬ The McFuture with Steve Faktor

    • Philosophy

https://youtu.be/_VygJXjmxeI

Watch & subscribe on YouTube















Days before Facebook announced earnings, I wrote: "There is no metaverse, not for Facebook and they know it better than anyone.” Validation came hard and fast. By Wednesday, Facebook’s stock plunged. Growth was slowing and active users declining. Employees are considering bolting with their loot and commemorative foam thumbs. And Meta plans a pivot to video. Is this the end for its ambitious bet on the metaverse, a virtual reality hellscape where work, play, life, and death are indistinguishable?







I've anticipated our divorce from social media since 2018, but our merger with The Matrix since 2008. Back then I wrote:







It’s my vision of a future where the virtual world is all-consuming and far more relevant than the real one. I just don’t believe we’re strong enough to resist a world of endless possibilities, instant gratifications, and candid shots of Britney.— IN ‘THE MATRIX’, THE PUDGY NERDS WILL RULE, 2008







Was I wrong? Is the demise of Facebook’s metaverse a sign that The Matrix is just a movie — and I’m just another sci-fi dork? Maybe. But first, let’s separate the two and define what a path to The Matrix requires.







FACEBOOK’S FEVER DREAM







Mark Zuckerberg, Sheryl Sandberg, and company built a spectacular machine. It monetized our need to connect and be heard. Before long, that machine became history’s second-greatest privacy invasion, after Google. How could giving one company all our personal data possibly derail? How??







You can Google all the controversies — or buy one of a dozen books by former employees. Armed with Facebook’s millions, they became heroic whistleblowers. For one low, low price of $13.97, let one of them blow (on) you. There are truths buried in their complicity.







By the time Mark Zuckerberg announced ‘Meta’, our BS detectors asphyxiated themselves. Mark’s Trust Tank was at ZERO. Regardless, ‘Meta’ would become the world’s premier provider of a non-existent service. The Metaverse demo looked like a slow child's Etch-A-Sketch of The Matrix, where everything was a Zoom call, but nothing was as sexy as 1999 Keanu Reeves.







Am I being a prick? Ambitious visions take time. The first cars were glorified bicycles that ran on coal and steam. We wouldn’t envision a Tesla looking at this monstrosity.







By William Felton - Public Domain,







The reason for my chutzpah is Meta stood on a pile of quicksand:







Facebook’s user base and engagement are dwindling, as rich kids move to TikTok, to twerk for China. They are the trendsetters – and have all the time in the world to waste ours.







The company lost the trust of every stakeholder:







* Businesses invested in ‘Pages’ only to watch Facebook make them pay-to-play to be seen.

https://youtu.be/_VygJXjmxeI

Watch & subscribe on YouTube















Days before Facebook announced earnings, I wrote: "There is no metaverse, not for Facebook and they know it better than anyone.” Validation came hard and fast. By Wednesday, Facebook’s stock plunged. Growth was slowing and active users declining. Employees are considering bolting with their loot and commemorative foam thumbs. And Meta plans a pivot to video. Is this the end for its ambitious bet on the metaverse, a virtual reality hellscape where work, play, life, and death are indistinguishable?







I've anticipated our divorce from social media since 2018, but our merger with The Matrix since 2008. Back then I wrote:







It’s my vision of a future where the virtual world is all-consuming and far more relevant than the real one. I just don’t believe we’re strong enough to resist a world of endless possibilities, instant gratifications, and candid shots of Britney.— IN ‘THE MATRIX’, THE PUDGY NERDS WILL RULE, 2008







Was I wrong? Is the demise of Facebook’s metaverse a sign that The Matrix is just a movie — and I’m just another sci-fi dork? Maybe. But first, let’s separate the two and define what a path to The Matrix requires.







FACEBOOK’S FEVER DREAM







Mark Zuckerberg, Sheryl Sandberg, and company built a spectacular machine. It monetized our need to connect and be heard. Before long, that machine became history’s second-greatest privacy invasion, after Google. How could giving one company all our personal data possibly derail? How??







You can Google all the controversies — or buy one of a dozen books by former employees. Armed with Facebook’s millions, they became heroic whistleblowers. For one low, low price of $13.97, let one of them blow (on) you. There are truths buried in their complicity.







By the time Mark Zuckerberg announced ‘Meta’, our BS detectors asphyxiated themselves. Mark’s Trust Tank was at ZERO. Regardless, ‘Meta’ would become the world’s premier provider of a non-existent service. The Metaverse demo looked like a slow child's Etch-A-Sketch of The Matrix, where everything was a Zoom call, but nothing was as sexy as 1999 Keanu Reeves.







Am I being a prick? Ambitious visions take time. The first cars were glorified bicycles that ran on coal and steam. We wouldn’t envision a Tesla looking at this monstrosity.







By William Felton - Public Domain,







The reason for my chutzpah is Meta stood on a pile of quicksand:







Facebook’s user base and engagement are dwindling, as rich kids move to TikTok, to twerk for China. They are the trendsetters – and have all the time in the world to waste ours.







The company lost the trust of every stakeholder:







* Businesses invested in ‘Pages’ only to watch Facebook make them pay-to-play to be seen.

27 min