Reports say Meta’s metaverse project is not doing well and its workers are growing more concerned about the project’s future.
These developments come after the company spent billions of dollars and assigned thousands of workers to make Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s vision of the metaverse a reality.
The New York Times said in a Sunday article that executives have complained about the amount of money spent on the entire project.
In addition, other concerns were raised about the “quality lockdown” placed on the company’s main virtual-reality venture, Horizon Worlds, after reports of bugs.
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This afternoon, the company is expected to unveil a new virtual reality headset along with other new metaverse features at a developer conference. It’s a big event for the company, whose Facebook and Instagram brands have suffered recent losses from rival TikTok.
In addition, Apple’s mobile operating system privacy changes have cost Meta billions in advertising revenue, and the company recently announced layoff plans.
Meta spokesperson Andy Stone said he believes the company is making progress here.
“Being a cynic about new and innovative technology is easy,” Stone told the New York Times. “Actually building it is a lot harder — but that’s what we’re doing because we believe the metaverse is the future of computing.”
Why it matters: The race to the metaverse continues, but it appears to be a bumpy ride. With issues with quality, use cases and more, brands should remain cautious and not put too many eggs in any one metaverse basket until they see which products seem to be viable technologically — and for users.
YouTube introduces account handles
YouTube is making it easier for brands and other creators to identify their channels on the social network with the introduction of account handles in addition to existing channel names.
Like Twitter, handles will be identified with @ before the channel name.
“Handles will appear on channel pages and Shorts, so they’ll be instantly and consistently recognizable,” YouTube said in a blog post announcing the move. “It’ll soon be simpler and faster to mention each other in comments, community posts, video descriptions and more. For example, creators can be shouted out in a mention in comments or tagged in the title of a recent collab, helping them increase visibility and reach with new audiences.”
YouTube said the handles will be gradually rolled out over the next month and accounts that have already been verified with Google will remain verified unless they change their channel name.
Why it matters: This is a win-win for brands and YouTube by establishing an easier way to identify brands on the site.
Right-wing social media sites small, but attract a loyal audience
A new Pew Research study suggests that right-leaning social media sites have built steady news-seeking audiences who say Facebook, Twitter and YouTube restrict what they are able to see and read.
The study audited BitChute, Gab, Gettr, Parler, Rumble, Telegram and Truth Social and analyzed prominent accounts and content across them.
Pew found that although fewer than one of every 10 Americans say they use the sites for news, most of the users said they are satisfied with their news experience, find the information to be mostly accurate and the discussions to be mostly friendly.
The study also found that most of the users on the sites (66%) identify as Republicans or lean toward the Republican Party.
Why it matters: Even though brands don’t need to be on all social networks, smart public relations professionals need to have a good working knowledge of each network, its metrics and the audiences they reach. Some social networks reach certain brands, while others don’t. Understanding the full playing field is important to communicators and the brands they represent.
It’s also important to understand some of the risks in these new arenas: The Pew survey found 15% of prominent accounts on these sites have been banned or demonetized elsewhere on social media— which could mean a minefield for brands seeking influencers.
The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation getting creative to share its message
The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation is using creative ways to respond to a cultural issue while making it fun and keeping it true to its brand.
For example, the group had a weekend post poking fun at those worried about drugs being inserted into candy to give to trick-or-treaters on Halloween night by telling warning users about those who may shove invasive silver carp into Milky Ways.
Be diligent and check your child's candy this year, just found an invasive silver carp shoved inside a Milky Way. No words. pic.twitter.com/4lxTErtQsX
— Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation (@OKWildlifeDept) October 10, 2022
The governmental agency has also previously gone viral with a tweet reminding people not to bring mountain lions indoors, which is helpful to all of us. It’s an example of how even small, obscure organizations can expand their reach with a sense of humor.