Facebook: A Tipping Point and Meta Math

September 2, 2022

I am not going to recycle the financial analysts’ reports about Facebook revenue and “profit.” Nor will I comment on Apple’s decapitation of certain Facebook money spinning. Instead I want to suggest that my research team and I have formulated the notion that Facebook is approaching or at its tipping point.

The evidence to support this fanciful idea is sparse, just two data points. After all, how quickly can a multi billion dollar dorm room dating app disappear when grandmas and grandpas use it to keep in touch with their middle aged “kids.” (Note that grandmas call their female friends “girls.” Amusing indeed.)

Let’s look at the two items of data, quickly of course because this is a free collection of blog posts without advertising or sponsorship. That’s not something one can say about other creators’ outputs.

First, navigate to this story: “Why is Instagram Dying? We Asked 100 Gen Z Users to Compare TikTok vs. Reels.” The write up reveals the results of semi Gen X/Millennial survey. It is pointless to comment about sample size, sample selection, and methodology. Let’s just look at a single finding from the report assuming the modern day math is sort of accurate.


The key bar indicates (without numbers, for sure) that TikTok has better algorithms. The finding, which I assume to be like other Internet-centric content, super accurate. Facebook is not doing numerical recipes in a tasty way.

But Facebook’s switchblade drone move is the chatter about charging users for access to what was a “free” service. As Jack Benny used to say, “Yipe.” “Meta’s Plans to Charge for Facebook and Instagram Could Be the Final Nail in Their Coffins” states:

With Instagram’s currently experiencing a low point due to some unwelcome features, offering a paid option could be the last straw for many, and cause them to move to other social platforms.

What’s the second factor? I have pointed out that the estimable Zuckster is happy to chatter away with a sticker sales professional. However, “Zuckerberg Targeted by House GOP Eager to Probe Hunter Biden” suggests that the Zuckster will have an opportunity to use his famous line “Congressperson, that you for that question. I am sorry I don’t have knowledge of the information. I will send the data you request to your office.” Will the elected officials welcome with enthusiasm an explanation from the highly regarded former liberal democrat leader from the UK to explain how alleged messages from an investigative body were understood by those really social Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram professionals? Dulcet tones may not be what the Congressional representatives want to hear, but who knows? Maybe the British politician can handle the annoying questioners from the Colony.

Will one and one equal three? One is TikTok and two is the opportunity to answer questions about a slippery political topic. My hunch is that the added value to reach three (a truly wonderful prime) is the ad revenue. If this tipping point is reached the one plus one may resolve to mysterious negative sum.

Worth watching. The Zuck is entertaining to observe from my vantage point in rural Kentucky. It will be instructive to watch how the math resolves at the Meta tipping point. The one plus one could result in a new magic number called the zuckup. One plus one equals a zuckup. I am not sure it will find much favor in some cohorts, particularly among TikTok users.

Stephen E Arnold, September 2, 2022


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