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The Future of Facebook

The Future of Facebook
October 25, 2021

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Remember for a moment where you were when you heard a whistleblower from within Facebook revealed incriminating evidence against the behemoth organization. Do you remember feeling shock? Anger? Apathy? For all the ink that was spilled on the topic, we now find ourselves several weeks beyond the inciting event that led to a Congressional hearing on the topic. The whistleblower, Frances Haugen, provided a detailed account of the issues at play and which steps should be taken in lieu of the company’s own handling of its products' harmful effects on mental health. For a moment, Washington seemed to have in its grasp an expert witness to reveal previously suspected tenets of the company’s business model and product features. But where do we go from here?

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Whistleblower Fatigue
Already, the momentum towards new regulations and policy seems to be stalling. Skeptics like Os Keys from Wired Magazine say the recent revelations won’t change a thing and takes issue with our faithful optimism in the power of one-off whistleblowers to affect change in an incredibly divided political ecosystem. The conspicuously timed but unrelated outage of Facebook’s product line on Oct. 4th, just one day after the damning 60 Minutes interview, caused chaos for businesses around the globe and customers who use their Facebook logins elsewhere on the internet (meanwhile, Netflix, TikTok, and Twitter all benefited from hungry eyes).

Deny, Deny, Deny
Meanwhile, Facebook hasn’t even acknowledged any wrongdoing. Almost taken from the playbook of a recently reviled (or fanatically revered) former President, denial is a powerful tool in blocking action. The company instead is moving ahead with reported plans for a name change and focusing on the “metaverse,” an interconnected universe of experience straight out of sci-fi. Facebook's digital wallet “Novi” began a pilot program using Coinbase and Paxos to let users send and receive USD, converted to USDP, a stablecoin created by Paxos. FB's own stablecoin, “Diem,” will replace USDP eventually.

The Court of Public Opinion
With younger users having all but abandoned Facebook, and metrics unknown on young Instagram users since 2018, the company's staying power isn't guaranteed. Many young people are tired of the over-primped and perfected content on Instagram, and prefer instead the authenticity of bedroom “storytimes” and unfiltered real talks, more prevalent on TikTok. Facebook's 2020 introduction of “Reels,” a direct rip off of TikTok, cemented the social network's reputation as a copycat trying to replicate the success of those who threaten FB's status (Instagram Stories was copied from Snapchat and effectively stole Snap's userbase).

For now, Facebook continues to be ubiquitous in our lives and logins. The final trickery may be the difficulty to opt-out.

Since last week, PrivCo has added:
515 Companies | 74 Funding Activities | 31 M&A Deals

Funding & Deal Highlights:

360Learning raises $200MM from Sumeru

SaaS • Equity • New York, NY

Candy Digital raises $100MM from Insight Partners

NFT • Round A • New York, NY

Bardavon Health Innovations 

Commercial Products • Round C • Mission, KS

ReCode Therapeutics raises $80MM from Pfizer Ventures

Pharmaceuticals • Round B • Dallas, TX

Jupiter Intelligence raises $54MM from Clearvision Ventures

Envirotech • Round C • San Mateo, CA

Providence Equity Partners acquires Seesaw Learning

E-Learning • Acquisition • San Francisco, CA

Trump Media & Technology Group merges with Digital World Acquisition Corp in $1.7BN deal

Entertainment • SPAC • Palm Beach, FL

Ally Financial acquires Fair Square Financial for $750MM

Fintech • Acquisition • Wilmington, DE

Aurizon Holdings Limited acquires One Rail Australia for $1.8BN

Freight Transportation • Acquisition • Brisbane, Australia

Olo Inc. acquires Wisely for $187MM

Marketing • Acquisition • Ann Arbor, MI

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