It was a tumultuous night across the pond for the US technology sector as Amazon and Apple proved that, for all their resources, they’re not immune to global supply chain challenges and Facebook, sorry Meta, unveiled a controversial name change.
Meta – a term more often employed by pretentious film students discussing a knowingly self-referential movie – is being employed by Mark Zuckerberg’s charge to reflect its move into an apparent brave new future where we’ll all be interacting over the metaverse with virtual reality headsets.
Given this future and, Meta or Facebook’s part in it, remains a long way from coming to fruition perhaps a better name would have been hubris.
“Whether this rebranding will be any more successful than Google’s switch to Alphabet back in 2015, which still requires explanation to people six years on, remains to be seen,” said AJ Bell’s Russ Mould.
“For now, Facebook remains a collection of social media platforms so perhaps a new group name which emphasised communication would have been more appropriate.
“Cynical observers may note that the change to Meta comes at a time when brand Facebook is being damaged by criticism from regulators and internal whistleblowers over privacy issues and the potential harms experienced by users.
“When two of the most efficiently run and well-resourced firms in the world are having trouble dealing with shortages then it is little wonder the rest of the corporate world is struggling.
“Apple faces the frustration that there’s no lack of demand for its products, it simply can’t source the microchips required to power them. This is despite it probably having better access than other businesses through its longstanding relationships with suppliers in Asia.
“Costs look set to be a challenge too and it will hope it can pass some of these on to customers by leaning on the strength of its brands.
“Amazon’s problems are arguably even more acute as it faces the challenge of hiring enough workers in a tight labour market, potentially driving wage inflation, as well as sourcing the goods we all want to buy and sticking to its extremely tight delivery schedules.
“This is involving significant outlays and is a reminder that while its cloud computing platform is the higher quality part of the business, the more visible retail arm remains central to its fortunes.”