What if the immersive web were the ultimate goal of Meta’s new strategy? This idea came up during our interview with Pierric Duthoit, Business Director France at Meta, at the Tech for Retail exhibition, of which Visionary Marketing was a media partner. Pierric shared with us some of the innovations launched by Meta as well as his strategic views. A strategy closer to Forrester’s vision than that of B2C commentators.
Forget the Metaverse, Meta’s True strategy is about the Immersive Web
The announcement by Mark Zuckerberg on the Metaverse, followed by Facebook’s name change took everyone by surprise. Immediately, naysayers seized the opportunity to denigrate it to the well-known tune of “it will never work!”
I have seen less than lukewarm comments regarding Meta’s plans for the future but some disgruntled Meta employees are even more critical. The least one can say is the Metaverse is not probably aimed at users of Meta’s historical brand, deemed tarnished by The Guardian.
Heated Discussions About the Future of the Metaverse
Other, more enthusiastic commentators followed suit, speaking highly of this vision of the future. At the same time, they were pointing out that other players were already working on it too.
Visionaries, meanwhile, claimed that the Metaverse was a reality, but not for Meta, but with online gaming heavyweights like Fortnite.
Finally, others announced that the Metaverse was promising and was already attracting investors, even if it didn’t really exist.
Finally, pragmatists like Forrester’s analysts, said that B2B was bound to be the future of the Metaverse.
Often, there are heated discussions between proponents and detractors of the Metaverse.
The future of nascent technologies is hard to predict
I have read a lot about this subject and I must admit that sometimes I feel a bit lost. Not only because of its complexity, beyond reach for most. Above all, I find that many commentators do sound a bit adamant about the future of nascent technologies.
My experience with technology has taught me that one can never be too cautious. I had rather test innovations in the field… quietly and without getting too excited.
What I understand from Pierric Duthoit’s interview is that Meta’s strategy is not really the Metaverse, though, which would not be for now, but rather a new form of Web, the immersive Web.
I see it above all as a series of creative attempts. After all, this is how innovation works. One step at a time.
While some may find it hard to believe in the future existence of immersive experiences in virtual remote meetings, I would therefore remain cautious.
After all, we have waited 20 years for web conferencing to be universally embraced. The current Zoom fatigue, although real, will not make online meetings disappear. They are part of our working environment and innovations in this area are still possible, and even desirable.
Here is a summary of my discussions with Pierric Duthoit who described some of the innovations Meta is currently carrying out for its clients.
Advantage+ Shopping Campaigns: a solution for optimising e-commerce performance campaigns
Meta is using artificial intelligence and machine learning to dramatically increase the power of its platforms around the world.
So, “the goal of the Advantage+ Shopping Campaigns (A+SC) solution is to allow our clients to reach the right audiences, test different kinds of graphic designs tailored with their audiences and improve their performance”, says Duthoit.
In these times of crisis, our customers are not looking to spend more, but rather to optimise their performance.
Using the solution results in an approximate 12% improvement in CPA (cost per action).
“On our platforms, many people discover brands or products. This is Discovery Commerce. The approach is to push a number of options thanks to the knowledge we have of our audiences,” Pierric emphasises.
Avantage+ Shopping Campaigns is used by companies such as Samsung. This allows them to test different images and texts, and optimise them for their audiences.
A+SC automatically pushes the best optimisation to the largest possible audience
Instagram and augmented reality
Moving on to another innovation and Instagram, “When we talk about augmented reality, we are talking about the provision of filters that allow you to see almost in three dimensions”, Pierric explains.
Furniture vendors for example, will let you see the furniture in your home before you buy. A camera system films your environment and places the fixtures in it.
Using augmented reality to the full
More than 700 million of Meta’s 3 billion users use AR filters
Many B2C brands are already integrating three-dimensional elements into their product design. This then makes it possible to implement augmented reality very quickly.
Will the Metaverse ever be live on Instagram?
“It is already possible to have your NFTs on Instagram. You can upload them and share them. It’s a first step,” Pierric Duthoit stresses.
The Metaverse as defined by Meta will see the light of day within ten years. These technologies take time
In the Metaverse experience, a lot happens in B2B, Pierric explains.
“Accor hotels are looking at how to practise online learning with virtual reality with people all over the world, and applications are starting to emerge in the medical field.”
Meta announced partnerships with Zoom, Microsoft, AutoCAD and Accenture at Connect 2022. It aims to begin deploying virtual reality around these B2B solutions any time soon.
Meta on its way to the immersive Web
This interview showed us that Meta’s strategy goes well beyond the Metaverse. Its aim is geared towards the immersive Web. It all starts with a set of technological innovations that are being put in place one after the other.
It is too early to draw any conclusions, though. Visionary Marketing will therefore keep an eye on these initiatives over time to measure their progress.