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Meta May Soon Enable Users to Set Up Various Facebook Profiles Tied Back to a Master Account

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Meta May Soon Enable Users to Set Up Various Facebook Profiles Tied Back to a Master Account

For many, Facebook has lost its appeal in recent times. Part of the reason for that is because everyone is on it – including your parents, grandparents, long-lost school friends, etc. With everyone on there, posting about every other thing, it can feel less personal, which may stop you from sharing the things that you might on other apps.  

But what if you could have various Facebook identities, with separate profiles to interact with different elements of the platform?

That’s what Facebook’s experimenting with, with users potentially able to create up to 5 separate profiles all tied back to one master account.

As reported by Bloomberg:

Meta will start letting users create multiple profiles with their Facebook accounts, the company’s latest attempt to encourage posting and sharing on its social network.  As part of a test, certain Facebook members will be able to create as many as four additional profiles, and each one won’t need to include a person’s real name or identity.”

So, theoretically, you might have one Facebook identity that you use to interact with friends, then another for co-workers. Each of these facets would come with its own News Feed, providing a new way to interact within different elements, without having to share everything with every one of your connections.

Which is kind of like Groups, which has become a key focus element for Facebook of late. As more users have become more wary about sharing everything to their main feed, groups have provided an alternative, enabling people to interact with more niche interests, without worrying about being judged by peers, or annoying people with their thoughts on politics, sports, etc.

Which seems to be the real focus here. Last February, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that a common note of feedback that Facebook execs hear is that people don’t want political content to take over their News Feed. Increasing political division has infected Facebook, arguably more so than other apps, which may be due to the breadth of Facebook’s user base, which means that older, more traditional perspectives are clashing with younger audiences in the app.

That, as Zuckerberg notes, has become a point of angst for many, and maybe, by enabling people to create alternate profiles, for different audiences, that could free people up to discuss what they like within different groups, without fearing judgment or criticism – and indeed, argument – for such.

The concept also leans into future metaverse use, with Meta also looking to create variable avatars for the evolving digital space.

Zuckerberg also recently discussed alternative use cases for different kinds of avatars, with more true-to-life 3D depictions of yourself for, say, work meetings and professional applications, and cartoonish avatar characters for your day-to-day interaction in the space.

In this sense, Facebook’s alternative profile options could be a precursor to the next stage, where you’ll have different avatar characters to engage within different elements – so it’s not only focused on improving engagement right now, but also on training users to get more accustomed to showing different sides of themselves within different elements.

It could make sense, but then again, do people really want to create alternative profiles within Facebook?

I agree with the concept, and that it would have been valuable at some stage. But now, it feels like most people have established what Facebook is, and what it isn’t, and they use other apps, for the most part, to express different sides of their personality.

In this sense, I’m not sure that many people will be rushing to set up alternative profiles on Facebook to connect with different groups. It’s a good idea, but maybe too late – but then again, maybe if Facebook were to have alternative, swipeable news feeds, all catered to different elements of your life, that could have unique value and application.

Then again, Facebook has tried this before, with alternative, topic based News Feeds in the app.

That didn’t work, largely because the topic feeds were a mess, with junk, spam and repeated posts taking up too much space in each element.

Maybe, then, wholly dedicated, personalized News Feeds, aligned with aspects of your personality, will be better suited, and maybe, if Facebook does go ahead with the project, it could be a thing,

We’ll have to wait and see what Zuck and Co. have planned – but the concept once again underlines how Meta is looking to re-think its once flagship app, in a bid to maintain relevance.

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Twitter’s Cancelling Free Access to its API, Which Will Shut Down Hundreds of Apps

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Twitter’s Cancelling Free Access to its API, Which Will Shut Down Hundreds of Apps

Well, this is certainly problematic.

Twitter has announced that, as of February 9th, it’s cutting off free access to its API, which is the access point that many, many apps, bot accounts, and other tools use to function.

That means that a heap of Twitter analytics apps, management tools, schedulers, automated updates – a range of key info and insight options will soon cease to function. Which seems like the sort of thing that, if you were Twitter, you’d want to keep on your app.

But that’s not really how Twitter 2.0 is looking to operate – in a bid to rake in as much revenue as absolutely possible, in any way that it can, Twitter will now look to charge all of these apps and tools. But most, I’d hazard a guess, will simply cease to function.

The bigger business apps already pay for full API access – your Hootsuite’s and your Sprout Social’s – so they’ll likely be unaffected. But it could stop them from offering free plans, which would have a big impact on their business models.

The announcement follows Twitter’s recent API change which cut off a heap of Twitter posting tools, in order, seemingly, to stop users accessing the platform through a third-party UI. 

Now, even more Twitter tools will go extinct, a broad spread of apps and functions that contribute to the real-time ecosystem that Twitter has become. Their loss, if that’s what happens, will have big impacts on overall Twitter activity.

On the other hand, some will see this as another element in Twitter’s crackdown on bots, which Twitter chief Elon Musk has made a personal mission to eradicate. Musk has taken some drastic measures to kill off bots, some of which are having an impact, but Musk himself has also admitted that such efforts are reducing overall platform engagement

This, too, could be a killer in this respect

It’ll also open the door to Twitter competitors, as many automated update apps will switch to other platforms. This relates to things like updates on downtime from video games, weather apps, and more. There are also tools like GIF generators and auto responders – there’s a range of tools that could now look for a new home on Mastodon, or some other Twitter replicant. 

In this respect, it seems like a flawed move, which is also largely ignorant of how the developer community has facilitated Twitter’s growth. 

But Elon and Co. are going to do things their own way, whether outside commentators agree or not – and maybe this is actually a path to gaining new Twitter data customers, and boosting the company’s income. 

But I doubt it.

If there are any third-party Twitter apps that you use, it’ll be worth checking in to see if they’re impacted before next week.



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Meta ‘Year of Efficiency’ call from Zuckerberg was what Street needed

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Meta 'Year of Efficiency' call from Zuckerberg was what Street needed

Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive officer of Meta Platforms Inc., center, departs from federal court in San Jose, Calif., on Dec. 20, 2022.

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

With one simple slogan, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg temporarily quelled investor discontent with his company’s multibillion-dollar investment into the futuristic metaverse.

“Our management theme for 2023 is the ‘Year of Efficiency’ and we’re focused on becoming a stronger and more nimble organization,” Zuckerberg said as part of the release of Meta’s fourth-quarter earnings report.

Following a 64% plunge in Meta’s share price in 2022, Wall Street cheered the report, sending the stock up almost 20%, extending a rally that began late last year. Based on after-hours pricing, Meta is trading at its highest since July.

Growth is not what’s getting investors excited. Meta reported better-than-expected revenue in the fourth quarter, but sales still sank 4% from a year earlier, marking the third straight quarterly decline. And the forecast range for the first quarter suggests that year-over-year revenue could increase, but it could also fall again.

Rather, Zuckerberg’s commitment to cost cuts and efficiency is a sign that increasing profitability is important to Meta, which was known as a growth machine prior to last year’s slump.

“The first 18 years I think we grew it 20%, 30% compound or a lot more every year,” Zuckerberg said on the earnings call. “And then obviously that changed very dramatically in 2022, where our revenue was negative for growth, for the first time in the company’s history.”

In looking to the future, Zuckerberg struck a realistic tone.

“We don’t anticipate that that’s going to continue,” he said, regarding the recent drop in revenue. “But I also don’t think it’s going to go back to the way it was before.”

Meta lowered its estimates for total expenses in 2023 to be in the range of $89 billion to $95 billion, down from its prior outlook of $94 billion to $100 billion. In November, the company announced it would lay off over 11,000 workers, or 13% of its staff.

Zuckerberg said Meta will be more “proactive on cutting projects that aren’t performing or may no longer be crucial” and that it will emphasize “removing layers of middle management to make decisions faster.”

Meta is also reducing spending as it builds new data centers that are intended to be more efficient while still able to power the company’s various artificial intelligence technologies. Capital expenditures are now expected to be in the range of $30 billion to $33 billion for 2023 instead of $34 billion to $37 billion.

Zuckerberg is selling investors on a story they want to hear, acknowledging that the company got bloated and needed more financial discipline. One of Zuckerberg’s top deputies, technology chief Andrew “Boz” Bosworth, wrote a personal essay just a few days ago echoing that sentiment.

Still, Meta has plenty of challenges ahead, in terms of both costs and reviving its core ad business.

Meta’s Reality Labs unit, which is responsible for developing the nascent metaverse, lost $13.7 billion in 2022. Finance chief Susan Li told analysts that the company isn’t planning for any reduction in that unit anytime soon. Zuckerberg still sees it as the company’s future.

Digital advertising, meanwhile, is suffering from a struggling economy, and Li gave no indication that companies are planning to dramatically increase their spending in 2023.

Meta has also yet to recover from Apple’s 2021 iOS privacy update that made it harder to target users with ads. Li said the company has been improving its online advertising system, but Apple’s update is “still certainly an absolute headwind to our revenue number.”

During the question and answer part of the call, Zuckerberg was asked about Meta’s progress in generative artificial intelligence, which has become the latest hot thing in Silicon Valley. His answer indicated that Meta is pursuing opportunities there, but will be cautious in how quickly it proceeds. Running these programs is expensive, and Meta needs to ensure it can develop them affordably, he said.

Zuckerberg said that while Meta is researching how best to incorporate the new technology, he wants “to be careful not to get too ahead of the development of it.”

Correction: Meta’s earnings report and CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s comments occurred after the market close on Wednesday. An earlier version misstated the day.

WATCH: Meta grows in daily active users, shares pop on revenue beat

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Pinterest Focuses on Travel Inspiration and Education for Black History Month

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Pinterest Focuses on Travel Inspiration and Education for Black History Month

Pinterest is taking a unique approach to Black History Month, with a new ‘Find Your Routes’ Black Travel Hub initiative, which aims to highlight places that have strong connections to Black history, while also showcasing Black-owned businesses.

As explained by Pinterest:

“Find Your Routes” is inspired by The Negro Motorist Green Book aka “The Green Book”. The Green Book was a guidebook for Black travelers during the Jim Crow era that provided a list of accessible hotels, boarding houses, taverns, restaurants, service stations and other establishments throughout the country that served Black Americans patrons.”

The Black Travel Hub, which you can find here, will present a range of travel options, along with their history, with creators from the US, Colombia, Jamaica, Brazil and more, all taking part in presenting their city.

It could be a good way to provide education alongside inspiration in the app, while also helping people to connect, and support highlighted communities.

Pinterest will also be showcasing Black-owned businesses on Pinterest TV, while internally, it’s also hosting a company-wide event ‘to help employees gain knowledge about the history, present, and future of Black travel through the lens of Black Pinployees’.

As noted, it could be a good way to both spark important conversations, and inspire new travel journeys, which include an extra level of cultural understanding and education, along with a leisure break.

It’s an interesting take on the celebration either way, and it’ll be worth noting what sort of reaction the initiative gets, and whether it inspires more travel as a result.

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