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Meta Announces New Mission Statement as it Looks Towards the Metaverse Future


Meta Faces Another Antitrust Challenge, with the FTC's Case Against the Company Approved for the Next Stage

It’s the dawn of a new era at the company formerly known as Facebook, and to truly establish its evolution into ‘Meta’, CEO Mark Zuckerberg today held an all-staff meeting to announce Meta’s updated values, in line with its new more forward-looking focus.

The company’s value statements have been a key driver of its strategic shifts over time, beginning with the ‘Move Fast and Break Things’ era, which lasted between 2009 to 2014, before being updated to the more placid Move fast with stable infrastructure’. Because breaking things wasn’t necessarily a good thing to be associated with.

Meta updated its mission statement again in 2017, to “Make the world more open and connected”, which didn’t quite capture all that Zuck wanted. So he updated again a year later to “Give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together. Which is generally shortened to “Bring the world closer together” as the key focus.

Many people scoffed at that, given the role that the platform had reportedly played in the lead-up 2016 US election, but still, that’s the driving, overarching ambition that Meta has since been striving towards.

Until now.

So what’s Meta’s new mission?

The new directive incorporates elements of all of these past drivers, into one larger collection.

  • Move fast together
  • Build awesome things
  • Focus on long term impact
  • Live in the future
  • Be open

The only omission here is a mention of ‘community’ or ‘building community’, with the focus now more aligned with development once again, as it looks towards the metaverse shift.

Which is still in development, and no one knows for sure exactly how it’s going to come together, at least in a Meta-structured context. Versions of metaverse have existed for some time, most notably in gaming, so there is a broad concept of what a digital world that re-creates real world interaction might look like. But Meta’s vision will look to build on what exists, and bolt in new elements – which makes it hard to tell, at this stage, if and how all of these pieces will come together, and what role Meta will end up playing in the broader structural framework.

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As we noted recently, a lot of what Meta has presented as its vision of the metaverse is really just VR, with user avatars engaging in wholly immersive digital spaces.

Which looks great, though Meta’s fully interactive VR world is still a fair way off. But if that is indeed the vision that Meta’s working towards, then it is clearly leading the way, with sales of its Quest 2 VR headsets on the rise, and Meta buying up VR studios and developers in order to dominate the space.

Yet, at the same time, those visions don’t necessarily incorporate AR, for which Meta is developing new wearables and interactive devices, and they don’t extend to other metaverse-aligned developments like cryptocurrency, NFTs, evolved AI and more.

All of these disparate pieces will likely play a part, but what’s most interesting is how Meta’s re-branding has put such focus onto ‘the metaverse’ as a broader concept that every developer in any tech space is now scrambling to add ‘metaverse ready’ to their tools and apps, even though they have no idea what ‘metaverse ready’ actually means.

Which is why the current discussion around Web3 and its related elements is still too early, because who knows how it’s all going to fit. Each element will be its own thing, and each should be explored in its own time and space. And by referring to things as metaverse-aligned, all you’re really doing is playing into the narrative that Meta will own the Metaverse.

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Which is likely what Zuck and Co. want, but it is interesting to note the massive market influence the company now has, and to see how that plays out in positioning it for the next shift.

Which brings us back to Meta’s new values, and its re-alignment around ‘moving fast’ as it advances towards the next stage.

Really, that’s where we’re at – we’ve returned to the Facebook of old in some ways, with the push now on to develop new experiences, and beat out the competition, in order to establish a platform, which, once it’s in place, will then see Meta’s focus re-shift back to community and social good, which Facebook eventually pivoted towards once it was big enough.

But at the same time, it also pivoted too late. Facebook became more conscious of the negative impact of its apps once they’d been built, through moving fast, which is when it then moved to ‘bringing the world closer together’ and focusing on improving community engagement.

Is that what will happen in the metaverse as well? Will this new mission overview see Meta focusing more on ‘moving fast’ and ‘building awesome things’, while neglecting the potential negatives, and the societal harms that could also come as a result?

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I guess that’s what the ‘focus on long term impact’ note is there to counter, to give developers increased impetus to build with sustainability, and ideally safety, in mind.

But I don’t know. It does seem like accelerated product development, and moving towards the future, is the key push here.

There’s also ‘Be Open’, which I’d be willing to bet Meta will lean on as its commitment to building its infrastructure in partnership with others. But in reality, I suspect it will actually be interpreted internally as building systems that others can also build for, which will eventually see Meta playing host to the foundations of the metaverse, as it sees it.

For all its talk about ‘no one company’ owning the metaverse, it increasingly seems like one company will do just that.

And a final note. Meta employees will now be referred to internally as ‘Metamates’.

Meta CTO Andrew Bosworth confirmed this, and provided some context on the terminology:

So Metamates. Pretty cool, right?

I might it can’t be worse than ‘Nooglers’, which someone also must have once thought was incredibly clever and witty.


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Biggest fines under EU privacy law


Mark Zuckerberg's social media firm -- owner of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp -- has racked up roughly two billion euros in fines

Mark Zuckerberg’s social media firm — owner of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp — has racked up roughly two billion euros in fines – Copyright /File Brendan Smialowski

Joseph BOYLE and Jules Bonnard

The European Union rolled out its mammoth data privacy regulation five years ago this week, and has since handed down billions in fines.

Ireland’s data watchdog smashed the record for an individual fine on Monday when it demanded 1.2 billion euros ($1.3 billion) from Meta over its transfers of personal data between Europe and the United States.

Here are some of the worst offenders of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR):

– Meta: undisputed fine king –

Mark Zuckerberg’s social media firm — owner of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp — has racked up roughly two billion euros in fines.

Breaches by Meta have included a mega-leak of some 533 million phone numbers and emails, mishandling children’s data and repeatedly failing to give a legal basis for its data collection.

Meta, along with the likes of Google, Twitter and LinkedIn has its European headquarters in Ireland, a low-tax regime that has courted big tech.

The Irish privacy watchdog has been reluctant to hand down big fines but said in a statement on Monday that the EU’s central authorities had ordered it to collect 1.2 billion euros from Meta.

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Austrian campaign group NOYB said it had spent millions in a decade-long legal battle to force the Irish watchdog to tackle the case.

“It is kind of absurd that the record fine will go to Ireland — the EU Member State that did everything to ensure that this fine is not issued,” said NOYB’s Max Schrems.

– US giants: In Meta’s shadow –

Luxembourg lit a torch under the Silicon Valley data industry in 2021 by slapping Amazon with a record fine of 746 million euros.

The country, whose low-tax policies have led campaigners to label it a tax haven, refused to give details of its decision at the time, only providing a brief statement after Amazon revealed the fine in its regulatory filings.

The online retail giant had been sued by a European consumer group claiming personal data was collected for ad-targeting without permission.

However, Amazon denied any breach and promised to appeal. It is unclear whether the fine has been paid.

Google has faced plenty of GDPR pain too.

France’s data watchdog hit the search giant with 50 million euros in fines for a lack of transparency on its Android mobile operating system in 2019 — the biggest such fine of that year.

– Clearview AI: Widespread penalties –

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Clearview AI may not be a household name, but it claims to own billions of photos of people’s faces that it sells as a searchable AI-powered database to law enforcement and other clients.

It scrapes the images from the web, often from social media accounts, without asking permission.

Privacy watchdogs in Greece, Italy, France and the UK have all hit the US firm with fines totally roughly 70 million euros, and regulators in Germany and Austria have declared it illegal.

The firm has consistently said it has no offices or clients in Europe and is not subject to EU privacy laws.

The status of the fines is unclear. France issued a penalty of five million euros recently, accusing the firm of failing to pay the initial fine.

– Public bodies, hacks –

In the early days of the GDPR, several watchdogs cracked down on public institutions, raising profound questions about the regulation’s scope.

Bulgaria fined its own tax authority around three million euros in 2019 after hackers stole the details of millions of people.

But several issues in the case were referred to the European Court of Justice, including whether such a hack automatically meant the data controller had not complied with GDPR.

The court has not yet issued a final decision.

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Portugal handed down one of the first significant fines under GDPR — 400,000 euros — in November 2018 to a hospital near Lisbon.

The watchdog ruled that the institution had allowed unauthorised access to patients’ data and the case was seen as an early wake-up call for public bodies to get busy with GDPR compliance.

Portugal later gave public institutions three years to adapt to the new regime, meaning the fine was never enforced.


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Jag anställde Gen Zers och blev chockad av deras professionalism


Jag anställde Gen Zers och blev chockad av deras professionalism
  • Jen Hartmann is the founder and CEO of a marketing agency in Louisville, Kentucky.
  • She recently hired two Gen Zers to help with social media.
  • Hartmann said the workers were eager to get feedback and improve.

Last year, Jen Hartmann found herself hours into a TikTok scroll. The founder and CEO of a marketing agency in Louisville, Kentucky, she was on the hunt for marketing trends. That night, she realized she needed a Gen Z employee. She’s since hired two and says it’s dramatically helped her brand.

This is an as-told-to essay based on an interview with Hartmann about hiring young employees. 

The interview process surprised me

I started interviewing Gen Z candidates for our roles in public-relations coordination because I was spending too much time on TikTok. As a CEO, I wanted to take a step back from client strategy. I thought Gen Z could bring a fresh perspective.

How the interview process shook out was totally unexpected.

I came to the table thinking: “They’re just looking for a job or a paycheck. They’ll be in and out the door in a month or two.”

That was not true: They came to the interviews dressed better than we were. They were prepared, had listened to relevant podcasts, and had looked at our website. And they emailed and messaged us on LinkedIn after the interviews to thank us. 

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Their level of professionalism blew my mind. They were more professional than some of the millennials we had spoken with. 

My Gen Z employees take ownership of tasks and are open to feedback

Our Gen Zers were onboarded very quickly; they didn’t need as much hand-holding as I expected.

They also asked a lot of questions. As a founder, I appreciated that they were eager to learn and get feedback — not just on what they did well but also on what they could improve.  

I was also surprised by their willingness to take ownership. They contribute good ideas during client calls without even being asked. 

And if they make a mistake, they’re willing to take responsibility and fix it.

Prioritization, however, can be a little difficult for them. When you’re a new employee, it’s hard to figure out where to start if you have 15 things on your to-do list. I’ve had to work on that with them.

And when it comes to communication, we have to deliver feedback differently. I have to be gentler so it doesn’t get miscommunicated that I’m mad at them or going to fire them.

Gen Z seems to be a little more feelings-centric than millennials. Millennials have a harder outer shell. That’s not a bad thing. It’s great that Gen Z is in touch with and open about their emotions.

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But because of that, millennial bosses need to be careful not to send the wrong message, especially if it’s all done over Slack or email.

Gen Z’s knowledge of social media is critical for businesses today

Gen Zers are constantly on TikTok. They’re very in the know, very in the loop. To keep up with our clients, we needed to bring on some Gen Zers who knew the trends and what influencers were up to.

It has made the biggest difference during client conversations. Half of their timely pitches are angles directly from TikTok. Our pitches are standing out because of this, and they’re getting picked up a lot more than they were in the past. 

Their knowledge of social also helps when building media lists, something that can take a long time for other generations. Many Gen Zers read major publications and keep up with the journalists and their work by following them on social media. That makes the lists much more effective and quicker than ever before.

Since hiring Gen Z employees, I’ve been able to take that step back that I was looking for, and their work has truly benefited the business.


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Twitter tillhandahåller ytterligare API-åtkomstnivå för att lösa prisproblem


Twitter lanserar test av annonsinriktning baserat specifikt på sökfrågor i appen

With its recent API access cost increases causing much angst within the developer community, Twitter has come back with a new API access tier, which will provide more tweet access for a more reasonable price.

As highlighted above, the new ‘Pro’ tweet API offering provides developers with access to a million tweets per month, at the low, low price of $5k per month – or $60k per annum. Which, for some, will be an improvement than the existing access points, which have already priced many developers and academics out of their various projects. But still, $5k per month for a million tweets is a lot – especially when Twitter’s free API access, up till February this year, provided developers with similar access to this, free of cost.

Twitter’s new API access charges, which it’s implemented to combat the creation of bot armies, are a significant jump on the previous costs, with Elon and Co. also looking to do all that they can to bring in more revenue for the company.

The updated pricing immediately saw many public service tools, like transport alerts, announce that they’d be canceling their automated Twitter updates – though Twitter has since announced that approved services like these will still be able to access the API for free.

But that doesn’t cover many other bot tools and services that also provide value, and the risk in Twitter’s approach is that it could become a less valuable utility as a result, which may eventually impact usage.

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But as noted, Musk sees the API as a potential vector for bot swarms. And as with Twitter Blue, Elon’s hoping that by tacking on extra charges to such access, that’ll effectively make it cost-prohibitive for bot creators to keep running their schemes.

Though there is another potential consideration in Musk’s API and access price rises, which is more aligned with his own personal grievances.

Twitter’s also taking on Microsoft over its use of Twitter data, via API access, which it claims is beyond the limitations imposed within Microsoft’s approved usage. Microsoft is now partnered with OpenAI, a company that Elon once had a significant investment in, and Musk’s view is that OpenAI has essentially stolen Twitter data to train its LLM systems, in order to fuel generative AI tools like ChatGPT.

The brief summary is that Elon gave OpenAI millions of dollars to assist in its development, then sought to take over as CEO of the company in 2018, in order to hasten its progress. OpenAI rebutted Musk’s offer, which then saw Elon turn his back on it, and pull all of his future funding pledges. But OpenAI had already taken some millions from Musk – and now that OpenAI is making big money from its generative AI tools, Elon is apparently not happy that he isn’t going to get a dime of that intake, despite his early involvement.

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This could be another factor in his decision to hike up the price of Twitter API access, in order to restrict other companies from taking Twitter’s proprietary data, and profiting off of his content in a similar way.

Elon’s also building his own generative AI model, which will be free of ‘woke bias’, and everything considered, it’s not beyond the scope of possibility that Elon’s pushing up the costs of Twitter API access in order to fend off his various business rivals.

(Note that Twitter is also asking API subscribers to remove any previously downloaded data, or face further legal recourse)

Though the main impetus seems to be Twitter’s need to diversify its income, with subscriptions, API access and advertising ideally settling into a more equal share of the company’s revenue pie.

Vilket verkar osannolikt att bli slutresultatet, men Elon försöker nya saker – och kanske finns det tillräckligt många potentiella indikatorer där för att fortsätta driva, för att maximera Twitters möjligheter. Eller så kanske det inte finns det, och så småningom kommer Twitter att behöva gå tillbaka till dessa förändringar. Det tillvägagångssättet är till synes en del av det som har gjort Musk framgångsrik, hans vilja att försöka misslyckas offentligt, och kanske kommer det att presentera potentiella nya möjligheter för verksamheten.

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Twitter är nytt API-prissättningssystem är nu i kraft.  


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