Five things worth sharing from the last week or so, brought to you by a different member of the Browser Media team every Friday.
This week’s My Five is by Kerry.
1. Facebook rebrands to Meta
We’ll start with the big one. Facebook is changing its corporate name to Meta, although it’s important to note that the individual platforms it owns like Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp will stay the same, it’s only the name of the parent company that’s changing.
Mark Zuckerberg claims it is to better “encompass” what it does as it branches out into other areas beyond social media. He has revealed plans to build a “metaverse” – a virtual environment where people can game, work and communicate using VR.
However, more cynical minds have suggested that it might be more to do with distancing itself from various scandals.
I’m certainly not one to leap to Facebook’s defence but there does seem to be a natural reaction when a company rebrands, to jump straight to the mindset of “what have they got to hide?”
While I’m not doubting there may be an element of this, I feel personally it’s probably got just as much to do with planning for the future and not putting all their eggs in the Facebook basket amid the platform’s well-documented slowdown, which brings us on to the next piece of news.
2. Facebook’s own research documents teenage exodus
If Facebook seems reluctant to rely on its flagship platform for future stability, it’s not hard to see why when we learn that its internal research has revealed it is struggling to both retain and attract teenage users.
The trend is being blamed on young people finding the platform “boring”, associating it with older users, as well as on criticism that the network is “misleading.”
US figures show that teenage users of the app have dropped by 13% since 2019, but more alarmingly, are expected to decline by 45% within the next two years.
3. Google makes it easier to remove images of children from the SERPs
While Facebook is focusing on how to exploit your kids, Google is planning to make it easier for you to protect them which is refreshing news. It has announced plans to allow anyone under the age of 18, or their parent or guardian to request the removal of the images from its search results.
This stands for images in the image tab or as thumbnails in any feature in Google search.
In a world where social media and smartphones dominate childhoods, this is encouraging to hear and as the next generation enter the workforce, it’s important for them to consider the information that’s publicly available about them, and that includes images.
Google’s help page has more information on the news, where you can also find a link to start the removal process.
4. YouTube Ad revenue soars
YouTube Ad revenue reached $7.2 billion in Q3, which was an increase of 43% from Q2. The growth is being attributed to YouTube’s CTV (connected TV) advertising increases and Shorts, designed to compete with the likes of TikTok.
YouTube Ad revenue played a big part in Alphabet’s overall revenue growth, which is up 41% year-on-year according to its report.
Google has attributed the continued increases to its big push for commerce in Q3 and its efforts to provide even more options for advertisers who are seeing a return to in-person shopping, especially as we begin to approach Christmas.
5. The relentless mocking of Facebook’s rebrand begins
It was inevitable that other big brands would take the opportunity to mock Facebook’s new name, and they didn’t waste any time, with Twitter and Aldi leading the way:
BIG NEWS lol jk still Twitter
— Twitter (@Twitter) October 28, 2021
— Aldi Stores UK (@AldiUK) October 28, 2021