Sweet Dreams Aren't Made of Metaverse
Metaverse on hold: Meta's ambitious project hits a snag… Missed connections: the clever account verification tactic… What is businesses' biggest strategy blunder… and more!
From Metaverse to MetAI
Meta's metaverse is taking a backseat, and AI is stealing shotgun.
Axios reported today that the company is following the trend of many other tech giants that are reducing headcounts, discontinuing side projects, and pursuing the potential of generative AI.
The company announced its second round of massive layoffs this week, which followed the shutting down of its Portal platform. While CEO Mark Zuckerberg hasn't disowned his metaverse dream, he stressed the significance of AI in his note regarding layoffs.
📉 The Move From the Metaverse
The report noted that Meta's shift away from the metaverse is also reflected in funding trends.
While companies that played in the metaverse and web3 space raised nearly $2 billion in funding by this time last year, metaverse and web3 companies have only raised about $6 million so far this year.
In contrast, the generative AI space saw $6 million in funding in March 2022, and this year, it is up to $2.3 billion.
Meanwhile, Meta has reportedly had difficulty keeping users engaged with its virtual reality products. According to an internal presentation obtained by media, the company's VP for VR told employees that Quest 2 is struggling with new users.
Despite its challenges in retaining users and its apparent shift toward AI, the internal presentation also showed that Meta is still committed to a robust roadmap over the next few years, with big metaverse plans for both hardware and software. Meaning the company hasn't completely abandoned the metaverse… yet.
Meta: One Ring Away From Logging You In
Missed calls aren’t just for your ex anymore — Meta wants to use them to verify your account.
The tech giant is testing a new way for users to authenticate their accounts using missed calls, which could save the company a ton on SMS charges.
The new process lets users verify their details via a missed call, by tracking their phone activity.
As a result, Meta's apps can detect when the missed call comes in, as well as the details of that call, eliminating the need for you to answer. Thus providing another method of authenticating your account without entering a password.
The feature is currently only supported on Facebook Lite in certain regions.
I'll admit, I didn't even realize mobile apps had the ability to see what phone numbers were calling us, and that creeps me out a little.
Meta: Blue Checkmarks For All!
In other Meta news, the blue checkmark is no longer a status of verification for brands and public figures, but rather a subscription fee.
The company officially rolled out Meta Verified on Instagram and Facebook in the U.S. today. For a monthly fee of $11.99 on the web and $14.99 on mobile, anyone can add the coveted blue check mark to their accounts.
Along with the badge, Zuckerberg also said you'll receive proactive impersonation protection and direct access to customer support.
If you're interested in getting the blue check for your brand or profile, you can join the waitlist to sign up for the subscription service online starting today.
In order to apply, you must be 18 years old, complete the verification process, and provide a government-issued photo ID. Two-factor authentication is also required. Subscribers who are Meta Verified also won't be able to change their profile name, photo, username, or date of birth without completing the verification process again.
Unlike Twitter, Meta won't charge for verification for users who are already verified on Instagram and Facebook. So you won't lose the blue check if you already have one.
Marketers Believe Businesses Overrate Social Media
Now for some news that doesn't involve Meta.
A new survey has revealed that marketing strategy is the most undervalued skill by businesses, with more than half of marketers agreeing.
Interestingly, that figure drops to 45% for B2C marketers but reaches 52% for B2B marketers.
Brand management was found to be the second most undervalued marketing skill, followed by data analysis.
As for the most hyped-up skill, surprisingly social media was identified as the most overrated marketing skill by nearly a quarter of marketers, followed by:
Advertising & marketing tech
However, recruiters' desired skills for marketers in 2023 paint a different picture. According to a recent study from LinkedIn, social media is the most in-demand skill for marketers in 2023, while digital marketing takes third place.
(Data provided by Marketing Week's survey of more than 3000 marketers)
Images: Marketing Week
Collecting More Data Than We Can Handle?
New research from customer engagement software provider Braze has found marketers are drowning in data.
As Forbes reported today, the study that examined customer engagement trends over the past year found that companies are defending their market share as customer acquisition costs soar and cost-conscious consumers have more options than ever in an uncertain environment.
As a result, 99% of marketers say they will prioritize personalized, human messaging in order to connect with their customers more meaningfully.
😱 Too Much Data
However, the research also found that the two biggest issues marketers face are too much data and gaps in their ability to analyze and manage data.
Four out of five companies said they collect too much data, resulting in useless information.
While two out of five marketers said the top challenge within data management is working with internal data teams who don’t understand marketing priorities.
Two out of five also cited a lack of data skills among marketing talent.
These issues are nothing new. But, according to a spokesperson for Braze, the reason behind the persistence of these challenges is that too many companies are focused on collecting as much customer data as possible without defining a plan for how to use it.
🤔 What’s a Marketer To Do?
He advises that before collecting data, businesses should define a strategy for using the data. To improve engagement and personalization, he added that some leading brands are relying on 'old school' methods such as asking their customers what they want and what interests them rather than using behavioural data analysis or machine learning/artificial intelligence.
Forbes noted that it's not just about gathering more and more data and then figuring out what to do with it: It's about having the right strategy in place and then gathering the appropriate data to help achieve it. In turn, this will alleviate some of the skills gaps that brands face.
Pinterest 🤝 Dotdash Meredith
Pinterest continues its push to video.
The social platform formed another exclusive video partnership yesterday, this time with publisher Dotdash Meredith which will bring content from a range of lifestyle brands to the app.
The company will produce 180 videos for the platform, aligned with annual events that engage its audience, including weddings and holidays. Dotdash Meredith is the third publisher to strike a deal to create exclusive video content for Pinterest, joining Condé Nast and Tastemade.