Hi there! Happy Monday to you!
Here is your weekly edition of “5 Minutes of Marketing,” a newsletter delivering the latest marketing, business, and technology news.
The three main stories from Week 44 are – Instagram hits 2 billion active users per month, Elon Musk takes over Twitter, and Meta has recorded a massive US$650 billion loss in its market value.
So, grab a cup of coffee and let’s go!
Instagram Users Reach 2 Billion
Instagram now has more than 2 billion monthly active users worldwide, closing in on the 2.96 billion who use Facebook, in a sign of the social media giant’s shifting makeup.
In June 2018, the company said Instagram surpassed 1 billion monthly active users. Since then, the app underwent one of the biggest transformations since it was acquired by Facebook.
Over the years, Instagram has changed how it shares content with its users. It now employs sophisticated algorithms that know exactly what users want to see. The addition of Reels (TikTok-style short videos) was one of the biggest game-changers for the social media platform.
It’s now estimated that close to 100 million posts are posted every day on Instagram.
Why is this significant to content creators?
Instagram has never been bigger than it is today, which opens new opportunities to content creators and businesses. Having 2 billion people using the app actively means that there are so many opportunities to tap into.
The saying that “everyone is on Instagram” makes even better sense now. And we keep saying it since 2018 when it only had 1 billion active users.
However, more active users also means more competition. These users are on Instagram for a reason – they expect outstanding quality and engaging content. They also expect their favorite brands to be on the platform and engage with them through various types of content.
This also comes with responsibility. Lately, multiple researches revealed that Instagram was linked to depression, body image concerns, self-esteem issues, social anxiety, and other problems. The Instagram team has big shoes to fill to ensure the platform becomes a safer space for everyone.
Is Instagram ready to grow even further? I’m sure they’ll find more ways to present content to its users. It’ll become an even more exciting place. It’ll open new opportunities for content creators and businesses to keep the growth momentum.
However, will it be able to manage this huge crowd of people using the app every day? Only the time will show.
Musk takes over Twitter
The news has been dominated by Elon Musk taking over Twitter as the company’s owner and firing 50% of existing staff.
I was really reluctant to share the news about Twitter as it dominated every media outlet; social media, celebrities, politicians, and governments have also spoken about it. In the end, we all expected this to happen sooner than later.
However, to me, as a Twitter user, some things are very concerning:
The $8 monthly fee for the blue tick will only facilitate fake news. More and more people will buy the badge to get authority. In contrast, those who actually have it will not bother as they don’t need the status. In the end, we might end up seeing authority-seekers using the badge. The danger in this is that the authority-seekers may use the platform for the wrong purposes – spreading fake news, conspiracies, unverified information, hate speech, etc. In the end, now everyone can create a fake account, claim to be an authoritative figure, and spread misinformation or hatred. Yet, they’ll still be able to buy the blue badge. I’ve seen a ton of former-blue-badge holders who openly said they wouldn’t pay the $8 per month fee to maintain their badge. If unaddressed, this will become an opportunity for abuse.
Musk fired the whole Human Rights team, whose job was to protect the most vulnerable groups in our societies, such as minorities, people of color, LGBTQI+, women, and refugees, among others. The team worked to protect users facing human rights violations around the globe, including activists, journalists, and people affected by conflicts like russia’s invasion of Ukraine. It’s really unclear what’s going to happen next, but the uncertainty is making the mood pretty somber.
Musk also fired the whole Accessibility team, whose job was to ensure that the app was friendly to people with disabilities. The team was working on the app becoming more accessible to people with impaired vision. Projects like creating a keyboard for such people will not be realized.
Musk also fired the Machine learning ethics, transparency, and accountability team, which worked on researching and pushing for algorithmic transparency and algorithmic choice on Twitter. This team was studying algorithmic amplification, inventing, and building ethical AI tooling and methodologies.
Musk announced that some of the previously permanently blocked accounts would be back on the platform in the coming weeks. Normally, to be banned from Twitter required to violate its strict policies against hate speech, the spread of fake news, and the promotion of violence, among others. Now, these people will be back. Hint, Donald Trump is likely to be back too!
Musk seems to be guided by emotions rather than rational thinking. This is pretty worrying. If governments don’t tackle this, Twitter is going to become a free space for hate, violence, fake news, conspiracy theories, and other things that should be strictly monitored. He may play the “freedom of speech” card, but there should be clear boundaries between free speech and venom. There’s already some research published that claims hate speech has been on the rise since Musk took over.
I’m really interested to find out what my community thinks about Musk taking over Twitter. Share your thoughts and expectations of what Twitter will become in the comments. Let’s have a discussion!
Meta has lost US$650 billion in market value
It has been one year since Facebook’s parent company rebranded as Meta, and in that time, the company has entered a financial free-fall, many analysts say. Comparing the market value of Meta from when it was first announced on Oct 28, 2021, with today, the company has shrunk by an astonishing US$650 billion.
Shares in Meta crashed 24 percent on Thursday to $97.94 , sinking its stock to the lowest it’s been in nearly four years.
In February, when Meta’s stock dropped 23 percent, Facebook’s daily active users declined for the first time, sending shockwaves through the tech giant. Later in July, Meta reported its first-ever revenue decline, brought down by a drop in ad spending as the economy began to drag. Competition for ad revenue has also been heating up with Meta’s largest competitor in the social media space, TikTok.
Zuckerberg’s “metaverse,” a virtual reality world, is a huge headache for the company. However, Zuckerberg doesn’t seem to want to let go of his idea. It seems that if Meta wants to become a leader in the next generation of tech, they’re going to have to work to convince both investors and consumers.
Other interesting stories:
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