Oh, Meta (FB). 🤦 When the social media giant Meta announced they were changing their name (and their focus) from Facebook, hopes were high that it would be a fresh start for the company. Like a very hungry caterpillar that transforms into a beautiful butterfly. 🦋
But last week, word leaked that Meta has been caught trying to publicly smear Gen Z social media rival, TikTok, following Frances Haugen’s leaked report revealed Meta’s concerns that teens spent ‘2-3X more time’ longer on TikTok than Instagram. According to The Washington Post, Meta has been paying a political consulting company to place opinion pieces in newspapers across the US. Why? To target parents of teens by promoting ‘dubious stories’ about trends on TikTok and labelling the app as a danger to American society. The Post adding that two of TikTok’s trends originated on Facebook.
With teens ditching Facebook as they fall for new crush TikTok, is Meta behaving like a lover scorned and going for teens by sending a note to their parents? Adding insult to Meta’s injury, TikTok has teamed up with Giphy on a new video creation library just months after Meta was ordered to sell Giphy due to competition concerns. Ded.💀
Rivalry comes with the territory in business. But given Meta has repeatedly been called on to help stop the spread of toxic misinformation and disinformation, planting stories could be seen as a tad… hypocritical? It probably also doesn’t help much with improving Meta’s Environmental Social Governance (ESG) rankings. CNBC says that Meta has plummeted in some ESG rankings, while Sustainalytics, an ESG rating division of Morningstar, ranks Meta 996 out of 1003 software peer companies, just ahead of spectacular tech-fraud Wirecard AG. Perhaps the butterfly is still spreading their wings. The first stop? Meta’s ‘Wendyverse’. 🍔