Meta: From Facebook to the Metaverse, Oculus and more, the company Mark Zuckerberg built – DAVID RAUDALES

DAVID RAUDALES

Businessman, musician / former Full Stack Developer

DAVID RAUDALES UK

Meta: From Facebook to the Metaverse, Oculus and more, the company Mark Zuckerberg built

Meta CEO, Mark Zuckerberg.

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Meta is the company Mark Zuckerberg built. It was first called “The Facebook,” then Facebook.
Facebook is still a Meta app, along with WhatsApp, Instagram, Threads, and the Horizon metaverse.
Oculus was acquired by Meta and paved the way for the company’s virtual reality ambitions. 

Meta is the company formerly known as Facebook that Mark Zuckerberg first worked on while at Harvard, later dropping out to build the business. The story was popularized in the 2010 film “The Social Network.”

Today Zuckerberg essentially owns Facebook and the rest of Meta with his majority stake, giving him primary control of the company and its divisions. Meta is publicly traded, so a single person or company does not technically own it. 

In early 2023, Meta earnings become more favorable after six straight quarters of losses. The company beat earnings estimates for Q1 and Q2 2023. Meta earnings are released quarterly. 

In March, Meta announced it laid off 10,000 workers in a second wave of 2023 job cuts. Zuckerberg said the company would also close around 5,000 of the job openings it had yet to fill.

In an analysis of tech companies conducting mass layoffs since 2022, Insider found that after Twitter, Meta layoffs were the most drastic. The company trimmed its workforce by 24%.

Next to Zuckerberg, Sheryl Sandberg is likely the most well-known current or former Meta employee. Sandberg stepped down from her position as Meta’s chief operating officer in June 2022. During her tenure, she pioneered her own brand of feminism and weathered high-profile scandals.

Mark Zuckerberg

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg grew up outside New York City and dropped out of Harvard after founding Facebook. He’s built it into a multibillion-dollar company while weathering numerous scandals and controversies.

Zuckerberg’s net worth is estimated to be around $108 billion. His fortunes are largely tied to Meta stock, and his wealth has risen and fallen alongside it.

Priscilla Chan met Zuckerberg at Harvard University and married in 2012. Zuckerberg’s wife spends most of her time on the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, which is the couple’s philathropy project.

The Zuckerberg family includes three kids, Maxima, 7; August, 5; and baby Aurelia, born in March 2023. There’s a recurring theme that ties their three daughters’ names together: all are linked to the names of Roman emperors, a part of history that fascinates Zuckerberg.

Instagram and Whatsapp

Meta started simply as “The Facebook,” but the company has since grown into more. Besides Facebook, Meta apps include WhatsApp, Instagram, Threads, and the Horizon Metaverse.

WhatsApp might be a little-known messaging app in the US, but in many parts of the globe, it’s an essential part of everyday life. The Facebook-owned app is easily one of the most popular messaging services in the world.

Most people are familiar with using WhatsApp via a mobile app on their phone, but not everyone is aware that it’s also possible to use WhatsApp Web on a computer desktop, too. 

Built almost entirely around sharing images and videos, Instagram is a cultural powerhouse today with over a billion registered accounts. Small businesses, large institutions, news organizations, celebrities, photographers, musicians, and a cottage industry of influencers all use Instagram to communicate with a visual twist.

The whole Meta ecosystem is tied together through various programs, including Meta Pay, which can be used when purchasing items, sending money, or donating to charitable causes on Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp.  

Facebook 

About 3 billion users log into Facebook monthly. Facebook presences primarily consist of personal profiles or entity pages. You need a Facebook profile to create a Facebook page, but unlike profiles, which must be about a real person, a Facebook page can be about anything, from the ramen shop you manage to the band you promote.

While many users take advantage of the mobile app, the Facebook desktop platform still allows users to post as well.

Facebook Lite is also an app that’s smaller in size than the regular Facebook app, which can be useful for people without access to a strong internet connection. Meta markets Facebook Lite as being compatible with speeds as low as 2G.

Features

Facebook offers many features for customizing your online presence, connecting with friends, watching video content, and even building a business.

You can easily personalize your profile to make it feel unique to you. A great place to start is changing your Facebook cover photo.

You can also change your name on Facebook in the Settings section of the website or mobile app, which is useful if you’ve gotten married, adopted a new nickname, or made an error when you first set up your account. 

Facebook Messenger, now simply Messenger, is a popular messaging app that you can use to stay in touch with many of your friends, family, and coworkers. The advantage of Messenger is you only need to know someone’s name or Facebook display name to contact them — no need to acquire an email address, phone number, or any other contact details.

Facebook also offers its own dating service, baked into the Facebook mobile app. While it has a relatively modest user base, Facebook Dating is an attractive alternative because it leverages the existing Facebook audience and promises to more easily connect you with people who share your interests and activities. In addition, unlike almost any other dating app, it’s free, with no premium features behind a paywall. 

Facebook Live allows you to watch or stream your own real-time or recorded videos. These streams can originate from friends or professional broadcast organizations, and both user groups can also post regular, pre-recorded video content to their timelines and stories.

If you want to save videos you watch on Facebook to your phone or computer, there are ways to make Facebook video downloads via a mobile app or browser-based workaround on your computer.

Business owners will find that Facebook business pages are free to both create and use. They can be a powerful tool to help you reach a new audience, gain popularity, and grow your brand.

If you have multiple businesses or social media pages to manage, Meta Business Suite allows you to bulk upload content, plan content publication well beforehand, and coordinate marketing campaigns with partners. 

If you find yourself ready to delete a Facebook page — whether because the business closed, the band broke up, or you simply don’t want a given page to be out there anymore — it’s easy to delete Facebook pages via the main site and the Facebook app.

Meta Portal, formerly called Facebook Portal, is an Alexa-enabled smart device used to video chat with friends and family. The Portal is like a dedicated video phone with a futuristic flare. The Portal has been discontinued, but the devices can still be purchased.

Security & Privacy

While Facebook is convenient for connecting with people, it also holds more personal data than you may realize. If you don’t have the right Facebook profile privacy settings, a lot of that personal data might be on public display.

For security, it’s also important to log out of Facebook occasionally, which you can do on one or all devices. It’s a good habit to sign out of active sessions on all social media platforms to keep your accounts safe. 

It’s also important to occasionally change your Facebook password. Doing so will safeguard against bad actors trying to access your account.

Facebook also lets you block or unblock anyone quickly without alerting them. Unblocking someone on Facebook will even re-add them to your Friends list if you were friends before the block.

Like most platforms, you’ll sometimes find Facebook down unexpectedly. If the site or app isn’t working, try refreshing your browser, clearing your cache, or reopen the app.

Sick of the whole social platform? You can deactivate or delete Facebook accounts to temporarily or permanently discontinue your presence on the site. 

And if you still have questions or an issue you can’t troubleshoot, you can always contact Facebook customer support.

Facebook Marketplace

Selling your stuff online has become a popular alternative to garage sales. For casual sellers, Facebook Marketplace is a free option that connects you with potential buyers in your area. 

You can get Facebook Marketplace on app or desktop platforms by clicking the Marketplace icon.

Unfortunately, Marketplace’s popularity also makes it an attractive destination for scams. Thankfully, if you know what to look for, scammers aren’t hard to detect. Arm yourself with knowledge about the most common signs of Facebook Marketplace scams so you can buy and sell safely.

Metaverse

When Facebook changed its name to Meta in late 2021, it went all-in on its concept of a Metaverse. For most people, accessing Facebook’s Metaverse, which is called Horizon, is as simple as buying a Meta Quest 2 VR headset. 

Oculus and Meta Quest

Palmer Luckey was 20 years old when he founded the virtual reality company Oculus VR in 2012. And two years later, he sold it to Meta for $2 billion in cash and stock. 

Luckey began designing and building VR headsets in 2009 and completed the first prototype for what would become the first Oculus headset the following year in his parents’ garage in Long Beach, California, when he was 17 years old.

Luckey’s first Oculus Rift virtual reality headset was released in 2013, and it was a watershed moment for technology fans everywhere. The then-cutting-edge Oculus Rift DK1 was not the first VR headset ever created, but it was the first high-quality yet affordable VR system available to the general public.

John Carmack served as consulting chief technology officer for Meta’s virtual reality initiatives since 2019 when he transitioned from a full-time into a “consulting” role. He initially joined VR headset creator Oculus in 2013, and the company was acquired by Facebook, now known as Meta, in 2014. Meta later changed the name of the VR headset brand to Meta Quest.

Meta VR products currently include two headsets, the Quest 2 and the Quest Pro. In June, the company announced it will release the Quest 3.

The Meta Quest Pro is Meta’s latest VR headset and has features aimed at professional customers rather than gamers and hobbyists. The Quest Pro has augmented reality capabilities integrating virtual elements into the real world. That makes this a so-called mixed-reality headset. 

Previously, the VR maker had also sold the Oculus Go, which is now discontinued.

The Meta VR headset comes with a pair of Quest 2 controllers that you can use to interact with the virtual environment and play most games.

To get started, you need to download Meta content, like games and apps to your headset. You have the option to play by casting Meta content to a PC, mobile phone, or TV to make your virtual reality screen a group experience. You can cast directly from the headset using the Camera in the app library or cast from the mobile app by tapping the Cast button at the top of the Meta Quest app in the Facebook website or app.

Oculus Link is a feature built into Quest 2, the Meta VR headset that allows you to connect your Quest to a PC. While the Meta Quest 2 is a completely self-contained wireless VR headset that can run games and apps from the large Quest library, Link adds an additional dimension, letting you use your computer’s substantially higher processing power to run more complex PC VR games. 

That’s good news because there’s an enormous library of games on Steam, originally developed for other VR headsets like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. They run perfectly on the Quest 2, giving gamers many options for additional Meta Quest games.

It’s important to know how to factory reset the Oculus 2, Quest, or any other headset if you plan to resell it to wipe all of your data.

Oculus headsets can allow up to four accounts to have an Oculus headset on at any time. While secondary accounts can still purchase games and use apps, they cannot connect their Oculus account to the Oculus mobile app.

Starting last year, it became possible once again to use an Oculus headset without needing to have a Facebook or Instagram account.

Read the original article on Business Insider