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 two to three 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 those over 40, with young people seeing Facebook representing the evil boomer generation of fake news and greedy corporations. Facebook’s predicamentis a bit like the only meaningful cigarette brand in the market and before you know it, several new brands are joining the marketplace. These newcomers are cooler and have 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 current most valuable 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 alongside 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, with the perceived wisdom that first-mover advantage is always a good thing in technology.
However,the plan struggles to take off as the young generation fails to sign up.
Market impact: Facebook parent company Meta struggles, with shares slumping up to 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
Q4 Outlook 2022: Winter is coming
- Winter is coming to the financial markets as central banks are tightening their grip. How spring will look is still a question.
European energy crisis: it will get worse before it gets betterThe winter in Europe will be tough, but whether the result is political chaos or sustainable, innovative solutions is still undecided.
A difficult and volatile quarter awaitsAs the year draws to an end, commodities continue to be at centre stage of the world with growth pockets political uncertainty.
The bright side: crises drive innovationThe positive spin on crises is that they come with solutions. It is worrisome that deglobalisation may be a response to this crisis.
Green transformation in China: renewable energy and beyondGoing green, China needs to span numerous energy sources to ensure stability, as every source comes with a challenge.
Asia: Intermittent solutions, but a faster renewable adoption curveAsian energy supply is being squeezed. This and the adoption of renewables may change the investment sentiment in the region.
FX: A Fed thaw needed to deliver a sustained USD turn lowerThe US Dollar can keep momentum when the Federal Reserve continues to tighten, leaving the rest to play to their drum.
Autumn can become ugly for equities and bond holders. Comfort for Dollar longsTechnical analysis suggests that equities could face a tough Q4 as could fixed income. US Dollar positions could provide some upside.
The next stock market sector to watch, with stocks going nuclearAs the world scrambles to find affordable, sustainable energy, nuclear is getting attention from politicians and investors alike.
The crypto space is getting cold when the hype disappearsCryptocurrencies face a winter of their own as retail investors and governments are asking tough questions.
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