Back in 2012, 94 percent of teens had a Facebook account, while surveys suggest that today only 27 percent of adolescents have an account. Facebook has gone from being a vibrant hub of young people, to a platform for older “boomers” as young people would say. Young people are increasingly turned off by Facebook’s algorithms turning their social media experiences into that of homogenous feedback loops of identical content, or even worse, hateful and disinforming content. Facebook’s own research suggests that teens spend 2 to 3 times longer on TikTok than on Instagram (which is Facebook’s youngest social media asset), and that Snapchat is the preferred way to communicate with friends.
In many ways, Facebook is suddenly in the midst of a cultural war between young people under 40 and adults over 40, with young people seeing Facebook representing the evil boomer generation of fake news and greedy corporations. Facebook was like the only meaningful cigarette brand and suddenly many new brands are joining the marketplace. These newcomers have a cooler style and a different take on data privacy and how information is controlled, without being minted in algorithms that serve highly individualised advertisement messages.
A new company name (Facebook is now called Meta) and brand identity to separate and shield Instagram (its most valuable current asset), together with creating a new product tailored towards young people, is the exact same playbook tobacco companies have used for years. But in 2022, investors will realise that Meta is rapidly losing the young generation and thus the future potential and profitability of the company. In a desperate move, Meta tries to acquire Snapchat or TikTok while throwing billions of dollars into building the creepy Metaverse, which is aimed at surveilling users more directly than ever before and getting young people back into Meta’s universe of social media platforms, in the perceived wisdom that being a first mover is always best in technology. The plan struggles to take off as the young generation fails to sign up.
Market impact: Facebook parent company Meta struggles, down 30 percent versus the broader market and is urged to spin off its components as separate entities, shattering Zuckerberg’s monopolistic dreams.
See next 2022 prediction:
The US mid-term election brings constitutional crisis
Outrageous Predictions 2023: The War Economy
- The constantly growing global need for energy drives the world's richest to huddle up and launch a R&D project in a size the world hasn't seen since the Manhattan Project gave the US the first atomic bomb.
French President Macron resignsThe political stalemate in France and the rise of Marie Le Pen following the 2022 elections corners President Macron, forcing him to give up on politics and resign from his position. At least for now.
Gold rockets to USD 3,000 as central banks fail on inflation mandateAs markets and central banks realise that the idea that inflation is transitory is wrong, and that prices will remain higher for longer, gold is sent through the roof, hitting a price tag of USD 3,000
EU Army forces EU down path to full unionWith continued challenges in the region and a US military that isn't aggressively enacting its former role as global policeman, the European Union agrees to create its own armed forces, bringing the whole region closer.
A country agrees to ban all meat production by 2030In an effort to become one of the global leaders on the path to net-zero emissions, one country decides to not only put a heavy tax on meat, but to ban domestic production entirely.
UK holds UnBrexit referendumFollowing a recession and domestic pressure, the United Kingdom is thrown into political turmoil that will end with a vote to wind back Brexit.
Widespread price controls are introduced to cap official inflationHistory tells us that with the war economy comes rationing and price controls. And this time is no different, as policymakers introduce strict price controls that lead to a range of unintended consequences.
OPEC+ & Chindia walk out of the IMF, agree to trade with new reserve assetSanctions against Russia have caused widespread turmoil due to US Dollar moves in countries across the globe that don't consider the US an ally. To relieve themselves from this, they leave the IMF and create a new reserve asset.
USDJPY fixed to the USD at 200 as Japan overhauls financial systemFollowing the challenges that faced the Japanese Yen in 2022, the Bank of Japan attempts to keep the currency from sliding. Unsuccessful on the long-term, Japan will launch a reset of its entire financial system.
Tax haven ban kills private equityWith the war economy comes an increased focus on national interests and sovereign nations' ability to assert themselves. In that regard, the OECD countries turn their attention on tax havens and pull the big guns out, banning them altogether.