Meta’s looking to make Spain a key growth hub within the Metaverse shift, with the announcement of a new, 2,000 staff ‘Meta Lab’ in Madrid, where it will explore new ways for Europeans to connect with each other in the next stage of digital connectivity.
The new office space will provide ‘a flexible base for Meta’s remote workers in Spain with space for local tech entrepreneurs and small businesses start-ups’. So in line with changing approaches to workplace culture, the Meta Lab won’t require all staff to be in the office, as such, but it will provide a central home for the company in the region.
In addition to this, Meta is also working with Spanish telco Telefónica to establish a Metaverse Innovation Hub, which will be focused on accelerating ‘metaverse network and device readiness’.
As per Meta:
“Spain is at the forefront of European tech. The country benefits from having two strong tech hubs: Barcelona and Madrid, as well as newer centres in Valencia and Andalusia. Both are at the centre of the tech scene and attract entrepreneurs, talent and local and international investors. Spain is seeing record levels of investment in start-ups solving everything from online grocery delivery to neuroelectronics.”
As such, Meta sees the nation as a good fit for its future plans, with specific focus, as noted, on accelerating connectivity and adoption in Europe, and catering to local requirements.
Despite much hype, the Metaverse remains a long way off, especially in terms of the fully-integrated, AR/VR environment that Meta is aiming to introduce. It’ll take a lot of investment, in various forms, and a big push on broader tech adoption and integration, which will require Meta to branch out to different governments, in different regions, to facilitate upgrades and local partnerships.
Basing itself in Spain will give Meta a stronger EU presence – though it is interesting that Meta hasn’t gone for the nation with the lowest corporate tax rate, which is the usual big tech expansion MO.
But then again, Meta’s in-development subsea cable projects may also be a key consideration here – as reported by Reuters:
“Spain will become an important link for Meta’s development in Europe as its two subsea cables connecting the region with the Americas and Africa will land in Spain and the company plans to build a data centre in Castile-La Mancha in central Spain.”
Spain could be a critical facilitation point, and by having a stronger local presence, that could help accelerate Metaverse adoption.
It’s an interesting expansion either way – Meta’s new Spanish projects will get underway shortly.
Elon Musk’s Team Asks for More Data to Complete Assessment of Twitter Bots
Okay, let’s just check in on the latest with the Twitter/Elon Musk takeover saga, and where things are placed to close out the week.
According to the latest reports, Musk’s team recently asked Twitter for more tweet info, in order to help it make an accurate assessment of bot activity in the app. This comes after Musk questioned Twitter’s claim that bots and fake accounts make up only 5% of its active user base, and said that his Twitter takeover deal could not go ahead unless Twitter could produce more evidence to support this figure.
Which Twitter did, by providing Musk with access to its ‘full firehose’ of tweets over a given period, which it shared with Musk’s team back on June 8th. Musk’s group has now had that data for a couple of weeks, but this week, it said that this info is not enough to go on, and that it needs even more insight from Twitter to make its judgment.
And after initially resisting calls for more data access, Twitter has now reportedly relented and handed over more tweet data access to Musk’s team.
Which may or may not be a concern, depending on how you see it.
In its initial data dump, Twitter reportedly gave Musk’s team info on:
- Total user tweets (within a given time period)
- Data on which devices were used
As noted, Musk’s team says that this has not provided it with the insight that it needs to conduct an accurate analysis of potential bot activity, so Twitter has now provided Musk with more ‘real-time API data’.
It’s not clear whether that means that Twitter has provided everything that its API systems can provide, but that could mean that Musk’s team can now access:
- Real-time info on tweet text and visual elements/attachments
- Data on retweets, replies, and quote Tweets for each
- Data on tweet author, mentioned users, tagged locations, hashtag and cashtag symbols, etc
- Date, time, location, device info
That should satisfy any analytical needs to uncover potential bot trends, and get a better handle on Twitter’s bot problem, though it also means that Musk has all your tweet info – which, again, it’s worth noting, Twitter up till now had been hesitant to provide.
I’m sure it’s fine. Musk’s team is beholden to disclosure laws around such, so it’s not like they can do anything much with that info anyway, in a legal sense. But the idea that the sometimes erratic Elon Musk now has all the tweets could be a little concerning for some.
But Twitter likely had to provide what it can, and if Musk is going to become CEO of the app soon anyway, he’s going to have access to all of that data either way.
Should be fine. No problems – no need to go deleting all your DMs (which are likely not included in the data that Twitter has provided at this stage).
According to reports, Musk’s team says that it now has the info it needs to make its assessment of bot activity, which should see the deal move forward (or not) sometime soon.
Of course, no one knows what exactly is going to happen next, and whether Musk’s team will look to renegotiate, or even back out of the deal entirely as a result of its bot analysis. But it does seem like, one way or another, Musk will be forced to go ahead with the $44 billion transaction, with Twitter’s past bot reporting methodology already accepted by the SEC, giving it legal grounding to argue that it’s acted in good faith, regardless of what Musk’s team finds.
The next steps then, according to Musk, would be securing debt financing and gaining Twitter shareholder approval, clearing the last hurdles for Musk to change the app’s name to ‘Telsla Social’, and add a million references to ‘420’ into the platforms various terms and conditions.
Because of the memes, because weed jokes are still funny to the richest man in the world – because he vacillates between inspired genius and a massive nerd who now gets to play out some fantasy of being cool.
Or something. Who knows what goes on in Elon Musk’s head – which is also why most are hesitant to bet against him, as nobody knows if and how he might be able to fix Twitter, and whether this is a great investment or a massive disaster.
It seems like we may soon find out. Maybe. Who knows. Either way, the memes should be great.
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