How is Social Media Going to Change?
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Social media is everywhere, and more than 3.78 billion people use it worldwide. It has not only changed how we connect to people but also to the media and brands. In just a decade, social media has transformed from an information exchange platform to a virtual gathering place and powerful marketing tool. So, in the future, what will social media platforms look like? What are the changes we can expect?
The following changes in social media are quite likely to happen in the near future. What kind of impact would these events have on social media? Only time will tell.
Facebook rebranding itself with a new name
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Facebook has changed the name of its parent company and rebranded itself as Meta, a nod to its role in embracing the metaverse in the future. According to the plans, Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, said the name change applies to the holding company and not necessarily the social media platform itself. Facebook also owns Instagram, WhatsApp, and Oculus, a virtual reality brand.
With the Meta name change, Facebook is following in the footsteps of Google, which, in 2015, reorganized entirely under a holding company called Alphabet. It was an indication that Google is not merely a search engine but a conglomerate specializing in health tech and autonomous cars.
Facebook, too, has been focusing on the next generation of technology. The primary focus is currently on creating a “metaverse” for which Facebook is planning to hire 10,000 people in Europe.
According to the Guardian, Facebook has pursued this rebranding exercise to overcome its worst PR crisis since the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Frances Haugen, a whistleblower, has leaked thousands of documents to US senators saying that Facebook prioritized profit over people.
Despite the whistleblower document scandal, Facebook shares continue to rise. It is expecting its fourth-quarter revenue to be anywhere between $31 billion and $34 billion. Facebook has also said that it is adding $50 billion to its trade stocks buyback program, lifting the shares by about 2% in extended trading.
With the metaverse, Facebook is expecting to make a profit from selling virtual goods and experiences. Will the launch of the metaverse further boost Facebook’s trade stocks? We will need to wait and watch.
Tighter regulations around social media platforms
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Although there are numerous benefits of social media for people as well as businesses, there are several negatives as well. There have been several reported cases of online harassment, cyberbullying, depression, and body image issues caused by social media. Earlier, social media was left to self-regulate by most countries in the world. However, that is no longer the case.
Numerous countries have introduced tighter regulations around various social media platforms. The UK had announced that it would grant more power to the watchdog Ofcom to force social media platforms to take greater responsibility for their content.
India’s Information Technology Rules 2021 enacts greater oversight on social media platforms, bringing them into a stricter regulatory net. As per the new regulations, social media platforms will need to take down unlawful content within a specified period of time. The new regulations also aim to curb the spread of misinformation through chat platforms such as Whatsapp and WeChat. OTT and streaming platforms such as Amazon Prime and Netflix also come under the purview of the new rules.
Turkey has also introduced laws that give the country greater control over social media platforms. Platforms will need to remove contentious or offensive content within 48 hours of being reported. Platforms that do not comply could face penalties of up to €4.3 million or a restriction on the bandwidth that could hamper access to the platform.
Many African countries are also tightening regulations around social media platforms. Countries like Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Burkina Faso, Tanzania, and Uganda are in favor of heavy-handed regulatory oversight of social media platforms.
More and more countries are introducing regulations around social media platforms. How will these regulations shape the future of social media? How will it impact businesses and investors? Is it going to affect the value of trade stocks of these social media platforms? Only time will tell.
Trump to launch a new social media platform
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Donald Trump, former US President, has announced the launch of his new social media platform called TRUTH Social. Trump was banned on Facebook and Twitter after his supporters stormed the US Capitol.
A beta launch has been planned for the platform in November this year, and the platform may be rolled out sometime in 2022. The platform will be launched by Trump Media & Technology Group along with Digital World Acquisition Corp., pending stockholder and regulatory approval.
According to the official release, DWAC has invested $293 million in the Trump project.
After the announcement, trade stocks have skyrocketed for DWAC. Will Trump’s TRUTH Social be able to compete with giants like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter? How will social media users react to the new platform? Only the future can tell.